On 29 March, the Minister for Finance and Local Government made a statement in the Senedd, outlining the Welsh Government’s plans for NDR reform over the short, medium and longer term. These plans include more frequent revaluations, improvements to the appeals process and the implementation of further measures to tackle fraud and avoidance, as well as continuing to explore the potential for a land value tax to replace NDR in future. A full transcript of the debate which followed the statement is available on the Senedd website.
Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief scheme for 2022-23
Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in Wales will receive 50% NDR relief for the duration of 2022-23. Like the scheme announced by the UK Government, the Welsh Government’s Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief scheme will be capped at £110,000 per business across Wales. This means that local authorities will not be able to automatically apply the relief to ratepayers’ bills. Eligible businesses will be required to apply to their local authority for relief and declare that the total amount of relief being claimed from authorities across Wales does not exceed £110,000.
Further to our guidance, local authorities are now taking applications for relief under the scheme for 2022-23. We have published links to the application forms for all local authorities on our Business Wales webpages.
Letting criteria for self-catering accommodation - Following consultation, the Welsh Government has announced changes to the criteria for a property providing self-catering accommodation to be classified as non-domestic and liable for NDR, rather than domestic and liable for council tax. The views conveyed in the consultation, including those from respondents representing the wider tourism industry, indicated that most genuine self-catering businesses could comply with increased letting requirements. The WTA disagree with this statement.
The wording of the following seems to suggest an absolute! We need to provide as much evidence as an industry tot he contrary - 'The Non-Domestic Rating (Amendment of Definition of Domestic Property) (Wales) Order 2022 (“the Order”) will amend the minimum length of time a property is required to be actually let, increasing it from 70 days to 182 days, within any 12 month period. It will also amend the minimum length of time a property is required to be made available to let, increasing it from 140 days to 252 days. A technical consultation on the draft Order is open until 12 April 2022. The Order will be made as soon as possible and the amended criteria will apply to all assessments for the NDR list, from 1 April 2023'.
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