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All-Island business rate unpopular among local authorities

Tue, 18 Jun 2019

By Local Democracy Reporter Ewan Gawne

A government proposal for an all-Island commercial property rate has proven unpopular among local authorities, after around 80% of those surveyed said it shouldn’t be introduced.
It comes following three workshops – held by the Cabinet Office with members of local government earlier this year – which gathered feedback on a series of policies aimed at modernising the rating system.
Commissioners and councillors were asked to consider the six most ‘contentious’ questions using an interactive digital voting system.
The majority were opposed to the idea of a central agency collecting rates over individual authorities, but supported the suggestion government and other public bodies should pay the charge.
Opinion was split on whether prompt payment discounts should be dropped in favour of late payment penalties, with around half feeling a combination would be best.
The question of whether charities should continue to have rate exemptions also received a mixed response, with around 56% voting ‘maybe’.
All but two of the 24 local authorities sent members to attend the sessions, which were held in March.
Policy and Reform Minister Chris Thomas is expected to bring a rates modernisation plan before Tynwald in July.


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