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The Local Government Finance Bill 2016-17 would amend the framework legislation for business rates in England. Much of the Bill consists of amendments to the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (the ‘1988 Act’).

The Bill is divided into four Parts, which give effect to a number of commitments regarding business rates made by the Government during 2014-2016:

  • Part 1 provides the legislative framework for the introduction of full retention of business rate revenue by local authorities (‘100% business rate retention’).
  • Part 2 gives effect to a number of adjustments to liability for business rates arising from recent policy reviews and decisions, and permits initiatives towards greater digitisation of rates collection.
  • Part 3 permits the imposition of ‘infrastructure supplements’ by mayoral combined authorities and the Mayor of London, as agreed in a number of the ‘devolution deals’ concluded in 2014-16.
  • Part 4 introduces a new ‘property owner levy’, built upon the concept of ‘property owner Business Improvement Districts’ developed in 2014, and extends the power to create business rate supplements to mayoral combined authorities.

The Bill had its First Reading in the House of Commons on 13 January 2017 (HCDeb 13 Jan 2017 c577). Second Reading is scheduled for Monday 23 January 2017, as are a Money Resolution and Ways and Means resolution.

The Bill has previously been referred to, in the Queen’s Speech and Government announcements, as the Local Growth and Jobs Bill.

The Bill extends to England and Wales, but its territorial effect is within England only. The majority of the Bill, but not all, has been certified as falling within the provisions of Standing Order 83J (i.e. the English Votes on English Laws provisions). Certified provisions will require assent from an English Grand Committee.

The Bill and explanatory notes have been published on the Bill pages of the Parliamentary website.

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