FOI Request - Commercial Properties Business Relief

Request 101000266110

Can you please provide me with the following information under the Freedom Of Information Act 2002:-

(a) addresses, Rateable Values, account start date, property description and occupier details  (I appreciate that some occupier details may be redacted) of Commercial properties that are within your Billing Authority, who have a rateable value of up to £12,000 and who are eligible for, but not currently receiving small business rate relief.

(b) I would also like to request address, Rateable Value, property description and occupier details (where available) of any commercial property within your billing authority that has a credit listed on their account to the value of £1000 and above, with the date that this credit was added. If possible, I would like this information sent on a separate spread sheet to that of (a).

Response 31-07-2014

(a)  The Small Business Bonus Scheme which operates in Scotland requires that a ratepayer provide to the local authority details of all non-domestic rates properties occupied in Scotland by the applicant so that the local authority may determine the extent of any entitlement to relief under the terms of the scheme. It is not therefore possible for me to provide a response to you as no information is held on the Non-Domestic Rates database on the total number of properties occupied in Scotland by each ratepayer.

(b) Non-Domestic Rate accounts in credit following an adjustment or an overpayment are routinely dealt with as part of the daily duties of the Council's Revenues staff. This results in newly-created credits being quickly refunded by users.  This ensures that credit balances do not remain on accounts.

The only exception occurs when staff are dealing with a dispute on an account or are awaiting information to the issue of the refund cheque to the appropriate payee. In each case this will delay the issue of a refund-cheque.

In addition to these factors, some cheques are not cashed within the six-month period and in such circumstances, such a cheque will be cancelled and the rates account will again becoming overpaid.

I can confirm there are currently no long-term overpaid balances on Non-Domestic Rates accounts other than those we are unable to refund due to one of the factors that I have already identified.

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