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Luton Borough Council

BID - frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about the Business Improvement District

What is the Business Improvement District (BID) levy?

The BID levy is a charge payable in respect of non-domestic properties in the Business Improvement District area of the town centre. The first BID Levy demand notice will cover the billing period January 2015 to the end of March 2015.

An annual demand notice will be issued every March for the Period April to March until March 2019 when the final demand will cover the period April 2019 to the end of December 2019. Your business rates demand notices will continue to be issued as normal.

What is the Luton BID Company Ltd?

The Luton BID Company Ltd is a non-local authority BID Body and is responsible for providing the Business Improvement District services for the Luton town centre BID. The company was appointed as the BID body through the ballot process.

Who do I contact with an enquiry about the BID?

If your enquiry is about payment or the amount you are charged then you should contact the Council. However, if your enquiry is about the BID services or anything other than payment you should contact the Luton BID Company:

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 01582 510657

What is the council’s role in the BID?

We are by law the billing authority for any business improvement district in our area, which means we are responsible for the collection of BID levies. We are not responsible for providing the BID services because there is a non-local authority BID body for the Luton BID.

Who has to pay the BID levy?

The person or organisation liable to pay the non-domestic rates for the property is liable to pay the BID levy. Where a property is occupied this will be the occupier, for empty properties the person or organisation entitled to occupy the property is liable to pay. This will normally be the leaseholder or the owner.

Does the council and other public sector bodies pay the BID levy?

Yes. We and the public bodies must pay the levy on properties within the BID area for which we are liable to pay non-domestic rates.

Can I opt out of the BID?

No. The BID is legally binding on the non-domestic ratepayers in the Business Improvement District area.

How much is collected in BID levies?

Approximately £421,000 per year is collectable through the levy. Details of the funds collected and expended are shown in the financial statement available on at the end of the financial year in April each year.

What happens to the money collected through the levy?

The funds collected through the levy can only be used to pay for BID services and our costs in collecting the levy. We hold the funds received in the BID revenue account and make payments to the BID Body (Luton BID Company Limited) to pay for the BID services that are provided by the company.

What do I get for my money?

The Luton BID Company is responsible for providing the BID services. You should contact Luton BID Company if you have any questions about the BID services.

Aren’t these services already provided by the council?

No. By law the services provided under the Business Improvement District must be additional services not already provided by us or enhancements to existing services.

I don’t benefit from BID services why should I pay?

The BID levy is a charge payable by law and not a payment for services received. If you have an enquiry about how you can benefit from BID services you should contact the Luton BID Company.

I voted against the BID or wasn’t eligible to vote at the time of the ballot. Do I still have to pay?

Yes. The result of the BID ballot held in October 2014 is binding on all non-domestic ratepayers in the BID area from 1 November 2014 to 31 October 2019. This includes persons or organisations who become ratepayers after the date of the ballot.

Is there an increase in the BID levy each year?

There will be an annual inflationary increase of all levy charges (including fixed band charges) year on year for the duration of the Business Improvement District.

This will be a minimum of 3% increase year on year or the inflation percentage as determined by the Consumer Price Index as at the 1 September of the year before the next billing process, whichever is the greater, rounded to the nearest tenth of a penny. Negative inflation will not apply. Inflation will not apply for the first billing cycle in 2014.

The property is unoccupied do I still need to pay?

Yes. The ratepayer for an unoccupied property is also liable to pay a BID levy.

Can I pay by instalments?

No. The BID levy is payable in one payment due on 1 January 2015 or 14 days after the issue of the levy demand notice whichever is later.

What should I do if I can’t pay?

If you have genuine financial difficulty and are unable to pay then you should contact us straight away on 0300 790 0349. Never ignore requests for payment as this will only make the situation worse.

What happens if I paid for the year then cease to be liable?

The BID levy is calculated on a daily basis. If you cease to be liable to pay part way through a financial year (eg you sell the property) and have already paid in full we will calculate the amount you have overpaid and refund this to you.
© 2020 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ