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SALFORD LOSES OVER £7MILLION THROUGH BUSINESS RATES AVOIDANCE
 

Star date: 7th January 2016

SALFORD COUNCIL TO DECLARE £7.143MILLION BUSINESS RATES DEFICIT

Salford Council is to declare a £7.143million deficit in its business rates collection, due to what the Council calls the "increasing use of business rates avoidance tactics". With the Council allowed to keep 49% of the money, it means a £3.5million direct loss to the city.

The loss looks likely to be passed on in cuts to services for the community, as the Council states the deficit "would increase the savings requirement in 2016/17".

Full details here...


For months, Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart has been bragging in public how Salford now has a growth rate `equivalent to China'. Indeed, Council finance officers estimated that such growth would increase business rates income by £3million in 2015/16.

Instead, Salford City Council is set to declare a deficit of £7.143million in its business rates collection for this financial year - which it is putting down to "increasing use of business rates avoidance tactics".

Businesses are appealing their rates bill in droves, to the point where, this year, the Council estimated that the cost of such appeals would be £3.5million. In the event, the cost of appeals was £12.05million, a `variance' of £8.55million. After other finance factors were taken into account, it leaves a final deficit of £7.143million.

Salford Council now gets to keep 49% of business rates in the city, totalling £124.174million, with 1% going to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority and the other 50% to the Government. The Council's 49% share of the deficit is £3.5million, which finance officers state "would increase the savings requirement in 2016/17"in other words, it will be made up by cutting spending on community services.

A report going to the Executive Lead Member for Finance next week underlines the problem..."It can be seen that the increase in the estimated cost of appeals is the major factor in producing a deficit position at 31st March 2016".

The Government announced restrictions on the back dating of appeals last year but the report adds, "In reality the restriction has resulted in an unprecedented increase in the level of appeals with £254m being the value of those currently outstanding. The majority of these are still eligible for back dating. Based on historical data this could ultimately reduce our business rates yield by £18m and require a £12m contribution to the current provision in 2015/16."

The report reveals that, while businesses in Salford have grown, "the financial impact of this growth is being negated by the likely cost of outstanding appeals."

bill wrote
at 11:03:45 on 08 January 2016
What Broughton boy has missed is that Salford, like other Councils is at the mercy of the Valuation Office Agency who deal with rating valuation and take ages to deal with appeals. the VOA are part of Revenue and Customs (Inland Revenue in old speak) and delays of 5 years or more to settle appeals are not unusual. Salford has no involvement in that process and receives minimal information on which to plan
 
Michael Free in Salford wrote
at 11:03:40 on 08 January 2016
Wake up call for Salford Labour as other seats go to Independent following public backlash on Labour! http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/632711/Embarrassment-Labour-council-seat-snatched-independent-candidate-flooded-town
 
Broughton boy wrote
at 21:41:46 on 07 January 2016
Wow - this is an absolute disgrace the team responsible for the MASSIVE deficit in collection needs to be outed and a new team employed so this does not happen again. If this was private industry the people responsible for this would not have a job.
 
joe oneill wrote
at 21:41:31 on 07 January 2016
What happens when the Government hand over control of all Business rates? abandon ship everyone:)
 
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