Huge jump in rates for Oswestry council car park
Oswestry Town Council is facing a huge jump in the rates it may have to pay on its main car park.
The rateable value of Central car park has almost doubled, which has seen its town council landed with a rates bill of £27,000 more than last year.
Specialist advisors have been brought in by the council to look at appealing the decision.
The government's valuation office recently re-valuated rates across England and Wales with new figures coming into effect in England and Wales in 2017, based on rateable values from April 2015.
Valuation Office Agency staff adjust the rateable value of business properties to reflect changes in the property market.
Central car park is the largest in Oswestry, one of three owned and managed by Oswestry Town Council.
In a report to Monday's finance committee of the council finance officer, Roger Dyke, says there has been a 46 per cent national non-domestic rates increase for Central car park.
"The rateable value was £118,000 in 2016/17 with a rate demand of £58,646," Mr Dyke says.
"This has increased to £206,000 rateable value and a £85,339 demand."
Mr Dyke said that the large increase may have been triggered by a request for information made by the Valuation Office Agency in June 2015 which was completed and returned.
Oswestry Town Council operates three car parks, Central, Smithfield Street and the Horsemarket. Fees charged by the council to motorists provide income for the council's budget.
It has 483 spaces and 24 disabled bays with charges ranging from 50p for up to an hour to £3 for up to six hours.
In 2015, when the council filled in the information request from the Valuation Office Agency, figures were released showing that, over the previous 12 months, 830,074 tickets were issued for the three car parks run by the council – 19,530 more than in the previous 12 months, and an increase of 2.4 percent.
The car park is also the site of Oswestry's public toilets. Originally run by Shropshire Council the town council took over the responsibility when the unitary authority decided to give up responsibility for them.