Rate help possible for rural businesses
Pubs and petrol stations in Mendip villages could be offered a helping hand with their rates bills.
Mendip District Council will hear proposals next week to extend a scheme that could save them 95 per cent of the business rates.
Councillors will be asked to put £60,000 into a scheme extending Discretionary Business Rates Relief to more small businesses.
Proprietors of pubs in villages which have a population of less than 3,000 where they are the only watering hole would qualify for the scheme.
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Petrol stations in villages of less than 3,000 people would also get the benefit.
The Rural Rate Relief Scheme was introduced to help protect the last retail outlets and similar services in rural settlements. Under the scheme a public house or petrol station with a rateable value of up to £12,500 in a village will benefit.
Half the rates are paid by Central Government and Mendip can "top up" this with another 45 per cent discount.
There are currently 92 rural public houses and four rural petrol stations in Mendip.
Of these, 49 public houses and one petrol station have qualifying low rateable values.
Mendip expects it will be able to help around 25 rural businesses through the scheme.