9. Purpose of the policy/strategy
2.1 This policy sets out the criteria, the conditions that need to be met and the type of information to be provided when a ratepayer applies for a reduction in their business rates bill under this discretionary provision. EDDC only anticipate granting relief in exceptional circumstances.
2.2 Section 69 of the Localism Act 2011 amends Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 with effect from 1 April 2012 to allow billing authorities to grant discretionary rate relief in any circumstances provided it is in the interests of the local council tax payers to do so. The purpose of this new power is to give billing authorities the ability and scope to encourage, sustain and improve economic performance by having the power to lower the business rate burden.
2.3 This policy:
• Makes clear to specific and limited criteria under which discretionary rate relief will be awarded by East Devon District Council.
• Anticipates that relief will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and for a limited period.
• Will ensure that all ratepayers making application for this discretionary rate relief are treated in a fair, consistent and equal manner.
• Sets a framework for how businesses/organisations can apply for this relief.
• Sets out the delegated authority for dealing with applications.
• Seeks to safeguard the interest of local council taxpayers by ensuring that funds allocated for discretionary rate relief are used in the most efficient, effective and economical way.