Rates Act 1984

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1984 c. 33


Rates Act 1984

1984 CHAPTER 33

An Act to enable the Secretary of State to limit the rates made and precepts issued by local authorities; to require local authorities to consult representatives of industrial and commercial ratepayers before reaching decisions on expenditure and the means of financing it; to make provision for requiring additional information to be given to ratepayers; to require notice of the rates payable in respect of a dwelling-house to be given to any occupier not in receipt of a demand note; and to make other amendments relating to rates.

[26th June 1984]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Selective Limitation of Rates and Precepts

Part I

Selective Limitation of Rates and Precepts

S-1 Power to prescribe maximum rates and precepts.

1 Power to prescribe maximum rates and precepts.

(1) The Secretary of State may, in accordance with the provisions of this Part of this Act, prescribe a maximum for the rate made or, as the case may be, the precept issued for any financial year by an authority to which this Part of this Act applies and which is designated by him in relation to that year in accordance with those provisions.

(2) Where an authority is designated as aforesaid in relation to a financial year its powers and duties in respect of the making of a rate or issuing a precept for that year shall have effect subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act.

(3) This Part of this Act applies to—

(a ) the council of a county or district;

(b ) the Greater London Council, the council of a London borough and the Common Council of the City of London;

(c ) the Inner London Education Authority; and

(d ) the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

(4) A maximum prescribed under this section for a rate shall apply to the rate exclusive of any part made for giving effect to—

(a ) a precept issued to the rating authority by another authority to which this Part of this Act applies or by the Receiver for the Metropolitan Police District; or

(b ) a levy made on the rating authority under section 13 of the London Regional Transport Act 1984 .

(5) In the case of the Inner London Education Authority the power to prescribe a maximum under this section shall be construed as a power to prescribe a maximum for such part of any precept issued by the Greater London Council as is attributable to expenditure of the Authority; and any maximum prescribed under this section in the case of the Greater London Council shall apply only to such part of any precept issued by the Council as is not attributable to such expenditure.

S-2 Designation of authorities.

2 Designation of authorities.

(1) The authority or authorities in whose case a maximum is to be prescribed under section 1 above for any financial year shall be designated by the Secretary of State in a report laid before the House of Commons in the preceding financial year; and on laying any such report the Secretary of State shall serve on the authority or, as the case may be, each of the authorities designated in it a notice stating that the authority has been so designated.

(2) The Secretary of State shall not in a report laid under subsection (1) above in any financial year designate an authority unless it appears to him from the best information available to him that its total expenditure in that year is likely—

(a ) to exceed its grant-related expenditure for that year or 10 million, whichever is the greater; and

(b ) to be excessive having regard to general economic conditions.

(3) If the total of relevant expenditure as estimated for the purposes of the Rate Support Grant Report for any financial year (other than the first) in which this section is in force is greater or smaller than the total of relevant expenditure as estimated for the purposes of the Rate Support Grant Report for the previous financial year, the Secretary of State shall by order substitute for the amount for the time being specified in subsection (2)(a ) above (whether 10 million or an amount previously substituted under this subsection) an amount which is proportionately greater or smaller except that any substituted amount may be rounded to the nearest 100,000.

(4) The power to make an order under subsection (3) above shall be exercisable by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the House of Commons.

(5) The power to designate an authority shall be exercised in accordance with principles determined by the Secretary of State and, in the case of an authority falling within any of the classes specified in subsection (6) below, those principles shall be the same either for all authorities falling within that class or for all of them which respectively have and have not been designated under this section in the previous financial year.

(6) The classes referred to in subsection (5) above are—

(a ) councils of metropolitan counties;

(b ) councils of non-metropolitan counties;

(c ) councils of metropolitan districts;

(d ) councils of non-metropolitan districts;

(e ) councils of inner London boroughs; and

(f ) councils of outer London boroughs.

(7) Any report under subsection (1) above shall contain a statement of the principles in accordance with which the authority or authorities included in the report have been designated.

(8) Separate reports and orders may be made under this section in relation to England and Wales respectively.

(9) References in the following provision of this Part of this Act to a designated authority are to an authority designated under this section.

S-3 Expenditure levels.

3 Expenditure levels.

(1) For the purpose of enabling the Secretary of State to prescribe a maximum under section 1 above for the rate made or precept issued by a designated authority the Secretary of State shall determine a level for its total expenditure in the financial year for which the maximum is to have effect.

(2) The power to determine a level for the total expenditure of a designated authority shall be exercised in accordance with principles determined by the Secretary of State and, in the case of an authority falling within any of the classes specified in subsection (6) of section 2 above, those principles shall be the same either for all authorities falling within that class or for all of them which respectively have and have not been designated under that section in the previous financial year.

(3) The Secretary of State shall serve on each designated authority a notice stating the level determined by him in the case of that authority.

(4) Any authority on which a notice is served under subsection (3) above may, within the period specified in the notice, apply to the Secretary of State for a re-determination of the level stated in the notice at a greater amount; and any such application shall be accompanied by such information in such form as the Secretary of State may require.

(5) Where an application is made in accordance with subsection (4) above the Secretary of State may, after considering the information submitted with it, any additional information furnished by the applicant and any other matters that he thinks relevant, either confirm his original determination or re-determine the level at a greater or smaller amount; and in making any such re-determination the Secretary of State may depart from the principles referred to in subsection (2) above.

(6) Where under subsection (5) above the Secretary of State re-determines a level at a greater amount he may impose on the authority in question such requirements relating to its expenditure or financial management as he thinks appropriate; and it shall be the duty of the authority to comply with any such requirements and to report to the Secretary of State whenever he so directs on the extent to which those requirements have been complied with.

(7) The duties of an authority under subsection (6) above shall be enforceable at the suit of the Secretary of State; and where an authority fails to comply with any such duty the Secretary of State may designate the authority...

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