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Local Government Finance Act 2012

Non–domestic rates

8.Existing provision in Schedule 8 to the Local Government Finance Act 1988 ("the LGFA 1988") in respect of England will be replaced and provision made for the treatment of non-domestic rates collected by billing authorities. The treatment of non-domestic rates will include the localisation of a percentage share of non-domestic rates to which a rates retention scheme will apply.

9.Key protections are built into the scheme; a stable starting point will ensure no local authority is worse off as a result of its business rates base at the outset of the scheme. This is achieved through a system of tariffs and top-ups, the basis for which will be set out in the local government finance report. Further protections are built in to ensure that councils can meet local needs, including a safety net for places in need of additional support, funded by a levy recovering a share of disproportionate gain.

10.The Secretary of State will be required to prepare a local government finance report each year, which sets out the central and local share percentages of non- domestic rates. It will also set out which payments are required to be made by billing authorities and major precepting authorities ("relevant authorities") to the Secretary of State, into the main non-domestic rating account, and which payments are required to be made by the Secretary of State to relevant authorities, from the main non-domestic rating account.

11.The Secretary of State will also be required to establish a levy account and make regulations as to whether payments are required from any relevant authority. Payments may be made from the levy account for the safety net to authorities in accordance with regulations to be made by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State may also make regulations as to transitional protection payments for authorities, to take account of transitional relief. Billing authorities will also be required to make payments to major precepting authorities, under regulations to be made by the Secretary of State.

12.A number of relevant authorities may also be designated as a pool of authorities, which will then be treated for most purposes of the new provisions as a single authority. The Secretary of State may designate certain areas of England and provide through regulations that a proportion of the rates are to be retained by billing authorities in those areas. Similarly, the Secretary of State may also designate certain classes of hereditament and provide that rates are to be retained by billing authorities whose area includes hereditaments within the designated class.

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