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All-island business rate is unacceptable says Council Leader

Tue, 16 Apr 2019


The leader of Douglas Council says the introduction of an all-Island business rate would be ‘totally unacceptable’, and would result in a ‘drastic cut in services’.

The proposal has been put forward in a consultation by the Cabinet Office, aimed at making the local authority charges ‘fair and  transparent’.

It’s suggested business rates could be collected by a central agency, with local authorities applying for funds in accordance with ‘national community policies’.

It’s intended to give smaller authorities access to monies without the need to ‘significantly increase rates to cover loans repayments’.

David Christian claims this is a rate grab by central government, which would have a major impact on the council’s financial planning.

He says the proposal would add an additional layer of bureaucracy, and if smaller local authorities want extra funding, they should up their rates to pay for new facilities.

Rates are an annual tax set and levied by local authorities on both private and commercial property owners, to pay for services like street lighting and waste management.

Douglas Council collects 61% of its rates income from domestic payers, and 39% from commercial, whilst 84% of properties in the capital are residential, with the remaining 16% being non-domestic.

The consultation closes on 21 April 2019, with the Cabinet Office intending to set out a full plan for rates modernisation by June 2019.

Local Democracy Reporter Ewan Gawne asked him why the council was so opposed to the proposal:


Media

  • David Christian on Rates

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