Levy payers have now received their annual levy bill (Year 1) and understandably, we have been asked some questions about it. We thought it would be useful to share these with everyone. Please let us know if there are other questions not mentioned here, and we will do our best to answer as soon as possible. http://www.colnebid.co.uk/bid-levy-coverletter_may2019/
ARE ALL BUSINESSES SITUATED WITHIN THE BID AREA SUBJECT TO THE BID LEVY?
All businesses with a rateable value of £3000 pa. or more will be subject to the BID levy. Businesses with a rateable value of £3000 or below will not have to pay but will still benefit.
I DON’T PAY BUSINESS RATES. WHY DO I STILL HAVE TO PAY THE LEVY?
Yes, the levy is based on rateable value of your property and not on whether you pay rates. If the rateable value is over the threshold of £3000 you will be liable to pay.
DO COUNCILS PAY THE LEVY?
Yes, if a council owns property in the BID zone, they must pay. In our BID, both Colne Town Council and Pendle Council have a few business premises in the BID zone and will pay a Bid Levy.
Do not-for-profit, charities, charity shops have to pay the levy?
Many of the larger BIDs around the country offer a reduction or discount to not-for-profit charities or charity shops. Many of the smaller BIDs do not. Our BID for Colne is at the small end of the spectrum and will not offer a discount for the first term of a BID.
I VOTED ‘NO’. WHY DO I STILL HAVE TO PAY?
Setting up the BID for Colne town centre was a democratic process managed by a postal Ballot following 12 months of consultation. Its the same for all 300+ BIDS around the country. The number of votes cast in favour of Colne BID was 74% of voters , and £910,000, or 62% of the rateable value of votes cast. So a BID has been set up based on the majority of the town’s businesses voting for it. All through the consultation process, we let people know that if there was a majority yes vote, then even if they didn’t vote or voted no, all businesses in the BID zone would contribute so that we can deliver the proposals and plans in our Business Plan for all businesses. There is no ‘opt out’.
ISN’T THIS JUST GOING TO BENEFIT SHOP OWNERS/BIG BUSINESSES? WHY IS THIS RELEVANT TO ME?
A BID is run by local businesses to help local businesses thrive and to improve the economic prosperity of the town. The cut off for businesses to be liable for a BID levy varies by BID depending on the size of the town or city and number of businesses in the BID area. For our BID the Steering Group (made up of representatives from local businesses) decided on the £3,000 minimum rates threshold. A business within the BID area, paying the levy gives that business a say on how the money is spent as a potential Member of the BID Company. So our BID benefits all sizes of business.
Because we have a large proportion of independent business in our town, the BID Steering Group wanted to make sure that as many business as possible could have their say in how the money is spent, so that it will benefit business and our town. If the cut off was set higher (as with some other BIDs in larger towns) this would mean that many of our businesses would fall below and they wouldn’t have say to make sure the BID worked for them too.
WHAT HAPPENS WITH EMPTY PROPERTIES?
The property owner gets to vote on the BID, but also becomes liable for the BID levy.
WHY DO WE HAVE TO PAY THIS AMOUNT ALL AT ONCE?
As with any business, in order to deliver the proposals in the Business Plan the BID Company needs working capital, rather than taking out a loan to finance the projects. It is a one-off annual payment. There will be no additional outlay requested by the BID company. The levy will be spent on additional activity to bring visitors into town, to encourage residents to spend more time and money here and support business growth.
CAN I PAY BY INSTALMENT?
Unfortunately not, because that will incur extra cost to the BID and therefore reduce the amount to spend on implementing the Business Plan.
WHAT’S THE BASIS ON WHICH THE LEVY IS CALCULATED?
The levy is based on the business rateable value (BRV) of the property. Where the BRV is more than £3000, the amount is multiplied by 1.5% for a single annual payment for each business.
DO THE NATIONALS IN TOWN PAY AS WELL?
Yes. Every property with a BRV above £3,000 pays. Even if the bill is paid at Head Office, all levy collected is spent on our Town.
WHY HAVE WE GOT A BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT IN COLNE ?
A BID for our town received a ‘Yes’ vote from 74% of those who voted with 62% (£910,000) of the rateable value of votes cast. The BID ballot was overseen by the Electoral Reform Services who administer national ballots and elections. According to Government legislation for BIDs, the Colne BID complied with the majority yes vote and the total rateable values of those voting yes exceeded the no vote.
HOW WILL THE BID BENEFIT MY BUSINESS?
The themes and activities in the business plan are based on consultation with you as business owners over the past 18 months. But these ideas just scratch the surface. We are in the early stage of getting everything set up and planning to deliver a range of projects and activity for BID business over the coming years.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I PAID FOR THE YEAR THEN CEASE TO BE LIABLE?
The BID levy is calculated on a daily basis. If you cease to be liable to pay part way through a financial year (eg you sell the property) and have already paid in full we will calculate the amount you have overpaid and refund this to you.
Can I OPT OUT of the BID?
NO. The result of the BID ballot held in June 2018 is legally binding on all non-domestic ratepayers in the Colne BID area from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2023. This includes persons or organisations who become ratepayers after the date of the ballot. eg new businesses setting up in the bid area.