Skip to main content
Luton Borough Council

How business rates are calculated

Non-domestic rates, or business rates, collected by local authorities are the way that those who occupy non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services.

Under the business rates retention arrangements introduced on 1 April 2013, we keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally.
This provides a direct financial incentive for us to work with local businesses to create a favourable environment for growth, as we will benefit from growth in business rates revenues. The money, together with revenue from council tax payers, revenue support grant provided by the Government and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services we, and other local authorities, provide in your area.
Download our business rates information booklet at the bottom of the page.

Mazar's RULING – The effect on business ratepayers

In 2016 a supreme court case changed the way that the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) assessed the rateable value of premises where there is more than one occupier.

Details can be found on GOV.UK

This may have resulted in some ratepayers being liable for multiple rating assessments and they may have lost any entitlement to small business rates relief.

The government have decided to introduce legislation that reverses this in a number of cases.

Details can be found on Parliament.UK

If you've been affected by this ruling, we suggest that you contacxt the VOA to discuss this matter.

Contact the VOA.

How are business rates calculated?

The local authority works out the business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier. There are two multipliers - the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier.

The government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England. The multipliers change each year in line with inflation.

From 1 April 2012 to the 31 March 2017, ALL occupied properties with a rateable value LESS than £18,000 will automatically be charged using the small business multiplier (unless in receipt of mandatory or rural relief.

From the 1s April 2017, ALL occupied properties with a rateable value of LESS than £51,000 will automatically be charged using the small business multiplier (unless in receipt of mandatory or rural relief).


Multipliers for the current and previous years are listed in the table below.
Year​ Multiplier​ Small business multiplier​
2005-06​ 42.2p​ 41.5p​
2006-07​ 43.3p​ 42.6p​
2007-08​ 44.4p​ 44.1p​
2008-09​ 46.2p​ 45.8p​
2009-10​ 48.5p​ 48.1p​
2010-11​ 41.4p​ 40.7p​
2011-12​ 43.3p​ 42.6p​
2012-13​ 45.8p​ 45.0p​
2013-14​ 47.1p​ 46.2p​
​2014-15 ​48.2p ​47.1p
​2015-16 ​49.3p ​48.0p
​2016-17 ​49.7p ​48.4p
​2017-18 (provisional)​ ​47.9p ​46.6p


All rateable values are reassessed at a general revaluation to ensure bills paid by any one ratepayer reflect changes over time in the value of their property relative to others. This helps maintain fairness in the rating system by updating valuations in line with changes in the market.

The current rating system is based on the 2010 revaluation.  The next revaluation will take place on the 1 April 2017, based on rental values at 1 April 2015. In the year of revaluation the multipliers are rebased to account for overall changes to rateable value and to ensure that revaluation does not raise extra money for government. This decision is made by Central Government not the local authority.

More information on revaluation 2017 can be found at:

Extension of transitional relief

The Government announced in the Autumn Statement on 3 December 2014 that it would extend transitional relief for small and medium properties. This is known as extended transitional relief.

Properties that will benefit are those with a rateable value up to and including £50,000 who would have received transitional relief in 2015/16 or 2016/17, had the existing transitional relief scheme continued in its current format.

In line with the existing thresholds in the transitional relief scheme, the £50,000 rateable value threshold is based on the rateable value shown for 1/4/10 or the substituted day in the cases of splits and mergers. This relief will be applied automatically to your bill if you are a qualifying property.

If you require more information please contact the team on email [email protected]
If you wish to appeal against your rateable value, please contact the valuation office.
Contact info
Business rates
Luton Borough Council, Town Hall, George Street, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 2BQ
Tel: 0300 7900349 or minicom 01582 414367
Fax: 01582 546977
[email protected]


© 2020 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ