Mandatory and discretionary rates relief

What is mandatory and discretionary relief and who qualifies?

Mandatory Relief 

Who qualifies for mandatory relief? 

Mandatory relief from rates is for charities and registered community amateur sports clubs.

The relief is set at 80% of the bill.

80% rate relief 

Occupiers of the following qualify for mandatory rate relief: 

  • A non-domestic premises used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes. The premises could be occupied by: 
    • a charity or the trustees of a charity 
    • an organisation not registered as a charity but has charitable objectives. You must provide a copy of the Articles of Association or the constitution of the organisation for us to inspect. 
  • Charity shops where the use of the premises is wholly or mainly for the sale of goods donated to the charity. The proceeds of the sale (minus expenses) are for the purposes of the charity. 
  • A registered community amateur sports clubs. 

You cannot make a Small Business Rate Relief claim if a property receives mandatory relief. 

To apply please complete the Mandatory Relief form. An application will only be considered when you have fully completed it and provided all required supporting information and evidence. 

Please note that whilst your application is being processed, your current rates are due and payable. 

Once a decision has been made we will write to you to confirm this. If relief is awarded an amended rates demand will be issued with new payment instructions. This will take account of any payments you have already made.

Discretionary Relief 

The council has a discretionary power to grant up to 100% relief from rates for those entitled to mandatory relief. 

Who qualifies for Discretionary Relief? 

The council has discretionary powers to award further rate relief of up to 20% (this is commonly referred to as top-up relief). 

Discretionary relief from rates is for charitable and voluntary organisations and can be granted for up to 100% of the bill. 

100% rate relief 

This is for non-domestic premises occupied by: 

  • non-profit-making organisations whose main objectives are for: charity, philanthropy, religion, education social welfare, science, literature, fine arts. 
  • non-profit-making organisations occupying premises wholly or mainly for the purposes of recreation. 
  • organisations entitled to mandatory 80% relief as set out above. 

We process each application for discretionary relief on an individual basis. 

Criteria for Discretionary Relief 

The council's Cabinet Resources Panel will consider the criteria below. We expect an organisation follow these either in whole or in part. 

Eligibility criteria 

  • Organisations should have an open membership policy 
  • Facilities should be for disadvantaged groups 
  • Facilities should be available to non-members 
  • The organisation provides training for its members particularly the young 
  • Facilities should be financed by themselves or by grants from bodies other than the council 
  • Facilities provided should be complementary to those provided by the council. They should relieve the council of the need to provide such facilities 
  • The facilities should benefit people who live in the city 
  • We will grant rate relief to organisations receiving direct grant aid but we will reduce the rate of grant aid. We will not grant relief where government funding is available to meet the liability. 

Criteria for discretionary relief for sports clubs 

  • More than 50% of the membership should be active playing members 
  • The club doesn't charge an admission fee 
  • We will give sympathetic consideration to: 
  • Applications from organisations involved in minority sports 
  • To organisations participating in local/national events publicising the city of Wolverhampton. Organisations must be affiliated with local or national organisations. 
  • Generally, clubs with bar facilities will not receive more than 50% relief. There may be exceptional circumstances. 

Organisation who are not eligible 

We won't grant relief: 

  • to national charitable organisations 
  • to sports and social clubs of industrial firms or other business organisations 
  • where the organisation can financially support itself without help from the council

To apply - please complete the Discretionary Charitable Relief application.

An application will only be considered when you have fully completed the application and provided all required supporting information and evidence. 

Please note whilst your application is being processed, your current rates are due and payable.

If 100% relief is awarded, any credit will be refunded. 

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