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Durham County Council

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What are business rates?

Business rates, also known as non-domestic rates, are the money that businesses pay towards the running of local services. We collect business rates but the amount you pay is set by the government.

How are business rates calculated?

Business rates are calculated by multiplying the rateable value of your property by the non-domestic rating multiplier.

Rateable value

All non-domestic properties are given a rateable value by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and this will be shown on the front of your bill. You can check the rateable value of your property at any time and compare it to others on the VOA website.

Non-domestic rating multiplier

The non-domestic rating multiplier is a fixed amount set by the government each year. For 2016/17 this has been set at 49.7p

Ratepayers entitled to small business rate relief have a lower multiplier. For 2016/17 this has been set at 48.4p. See our rate relief page for more information.

When the rateable value is multiplied by the non-domestic rating multiplier, this gives the basic amount you have to pay for the financial year. This figure could be further adjusted as a result of any relief you may be entitled to. See our get money off your business rates page for more information.

Changes to rateable value

The VOA re-assesses the rateable values of all non-domestic properties every five years (revaluation). This is taking place in 2016 - see Business rates information 2017 / 2018 for more information, including what you can do to review your ratable revaluation before we use it to calculate your 2017/2018 bill. 

What if there is a big change to the rateable value of my property?

As property values can change substantially in the five years between each revaluation, there's a limit to how much your rates can increase or decrease. This is known as Transitional Rate Relief. Details of these rates can be found on the government's business rates relief web pages.

We will automatically apply Transitional Rate Relief to your business rates, gradually increasing or decreasing them until you reach the new rate. After these limits have been applied your bill will also increase in line with inflation.

What if I think my rateable value or rating list entry is incorrect?

If you think either your rateable value or rating list entry is incorrect, you can make an appeal to the VOA asking for it to be changed. See our make an appeal about business rates page for more information.