Non-Domestic Rates - Rural Relief

Information

Legislation was introduced under the terms of the Local Government and Rating Act 1997 which enables Local Authorities to grant remission of rates to certain types of properties in rural areas.  

Local authorities may grant 100% mandatory relief in respect of qualifying general stores, Post Offices, petrol filling stations, small hotels and public houses, in rural settlements. Local authorities are also given discretionary powers to grant up to 100% relief in respect of properties, including general stores and Post Offices, which are considered to be of benefit to the local community. Relief can only be considered if a property meets the conditions detailed below.

Qualifying Criteria

The definition of a rural settlement for the purposes of the scheme is as follows:

  • Being wholly or partly within the Council’s area;
  • Having a population not exceeding 3,000 at 31 December 1997;
  • Being wholly or partly within a ‘rural area’ as prescribed by the Scottish Ministers

The Scottish Ministers have designated Moray as a rural area with the exception of the following localities:

  • Buckie
  • Keith
  • Forres
  • Elgin
  • Lossiemouth

Mandatory Rural Relief

  • The property is within a settlement of less than 3,000 population;
  • The property is a Post Office (within the meaning of the Post Office Act 1953) and/or a shop mainly selling both food for human consumption (excluding confectionary) and general household good
  • The property is the only Post Office and/or general store in the settlement and the rateable value of the property does not exceed £8,500;
  • The property is the only petrol filling station, small hotel and public house in the settlement and the rateable value does not exceed £12,750;

Discretionary Rural Relief

  • The property is within a settlement of less than 3,000 population;
  • The rateable value of the property does not exceed £17,000;
  • The local authority is satisfied the property is used to benefit the local community;
  • The local authority is satisfied that it would be in the interests of persons liable to pay Council Tax to make an award of relief.

The decision to make an award of discretionary rates relief is exercised by the Council's Policy and Resources Committee.

The majority of ratepayers have already been receiving this relief for a number of years.  The only new applications that may be received are eg if a post office changes ratepayers or if a filling station changes ratepayers.  If the new ratepayers are running the business the same, they are eligible to apply.

For further information contact us, or download the Rural Relief (PDF)

Contact Us

Non Domestic Rates Team
Council Offices
High Street
Elgin
IV30 1BX

01343 563194

ndr-enq@moray.gov.uk

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