DON’T PANIC, MR MAINWARING!!! Nothing has changed, really – except Localism
Insight article, Scrafton's Law, August 2013
It seems that the Revenues Departments of the Town Halls of England and Wales are full of headless chickens, running around, pumping blood but still clucking, over the recent decisions which have emerged in connection with (I am sorry, readers) charitable relief from the rate.
In truth, nothing has changed, really, as far as the substantive law is concerned. The real problem seems to be that billing authorities are waking up to one of the realities of “Localism”, namely that half the cost of any relief given now falls on the municipal purse. Was the making redundant of all of those Bumble-like rate inspectors such a good idea? In retrospect, perhaps not. No doubt that policy is being reversed; and it is to be hoped that the recruits will study for and obtain the Institute’s new Level 3 Certificate in NNDR, at the very least.
For the time being, however, confusion reigns, as billing authorities try to get ratepayers to do their work for them. One authority, to my knowledge, having made liable for the occupied rate an entirely genuine and bona fide short-term, local occupier of a vacant unit as a temporary overflow, is now refusing the six-month exemption because, it says, it has no evidence that the property in question was actually occupied. Er……?
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