No rates relief yet, says city council

PETERBOROUGH City Council has reminded local businesses that the government’s relief package has not yet come into effect and business rate payers are required to pay the business rate instalments quoted in their recent bills.

The government announced on March 31, 2009 that it plans to bring forward regulations to enable businesses to defer the payment of 60 per cent of the increase in their 2009-10 business rate bills until 2010/11 and 2011/12.

However, Peterborough City Council stressed today that businesses must keep paying their legally established liability as set out on their current bills until the new regulations are in place.

The council’s executive director of strategic resources, John Harrison, said: “We expect the new regulations will be in place by the end of July and only then will we be able to write to business rate payers to give them the option of deferring part of the increase.

“Until then businesses need to pay their business rates as per the instalments laid out in their current bills.

“We will be writing to all business rate payers with a fact sheet to explain how the deferral scheme will work.

“Deferrals will not be automatic, businesses will need to specifically request it and any payments that are deferred will be added onto bills for 2010/11 and 2011/12.”