Some excellent news announced by the Deputy Prime Minister at the Local Government Conference today (see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13952431 ).
The collection of Business rates is a sore point for SMBC. Our officers have one of the best collection rates for Business and Council Tax in the country but although we collect about £90m in Business Rate this is passed to the Treasury who share the rate with all other local authorities. We received something to the tune of £60m. therefore, not only are we one of the worst funded by Central Grant we lose out to the tune of about £30m through Business rates not retained. Help is at hand however.
Although it seems the present state of play will remain, ie; the monies will still be shared out as at present, it looks as though a new practice will allow local authorities to keep all new business rates it collects. This will encourage authorities to develop businesses and therefore increase job availability. It is ironic that Solihull is an area of vast importance to the economic strategy for the West Midlands region. The M42 corridor is vital in aiding communication links to the wider region and the local authority has not been slow in allowing developments such as Blythe valley Business Park but without gaining the business rates paid by these international companies. However, it seems things might change; hopefully very soon.
When I get full details I will post them.