FOI request (FOI208632)
Business Rates owed
Requested Fri 10 March 2017
Responded Fri 10 March 2017
I am trying to find out a few things about business rates.
I have tried to make my list of questions as short and simple as possible in the hope it helps you provide a quick response, if at all possible.
Many thanks in advance for your work and your help in this matter
Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, could you please provide the answers to the following questions based on information held by the authority as the collecting authority for business rates.
Please provide answers to the following five questions for the current financial year to date and the last four financial years, ie:
2016/2017 so far
1. The total value of business rates (NNDR) owed to the authority in each year
2. The total number of businesses owing rates to the authority in each year
3. The value of (1) written off as unrecoverable in each year
4. The total value of business rates successfully collected in each year
5. The largest sum owed by any single business in each year
6. The trading name and company number of the business owing the largest amount in each year
This information is held
Q1 - 2012 - 27,955.51 2013 - 104,812.04 2014 - 152,153.89 2015 - 293,784.37 2016 - 1,257,690.06 Q2 - 2012 - 37 2013 - 60 2014 - 89 2015 - 170 2016 - 539 Q3 - 2012 - 272,289,.87 2013 - 235,260.68 2014 - 115,226.81 2015 - 5,030.59 2016 - 76.66 Q4 - 2012 - 99.86% 2013 - 99.50% 2014 - 99.28% 2015 - 98.64% 2016 - 94.35% Q5 - 2012 - 11,206.50 2013 - 7,028.22 2014 - 8,596.83 2015 - 13,589.83 2016 - 121,765 Q6 - Notice of Refusal
The information requested is commercially sensitive and fall under Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act - Commercially Sensitive Information
Information prejudicing commercial interests - commercial interest relating to an organisations commercial activity and may include trading activity procurement and relationships with third parties.
The exemption afforded by Section 43 is subject to what is known as the 'public interest test'. When applying the test in a particular case a public authority is deciding whether the public interest is better served by non-disclosure than by disclosure.
Although the Freedom of Information Act does not define 'in the public interest', there is a presumption under Freedom of Information that openness is in the public interest. In applying the public interest test a public authority will take into account the distinction that has been often made by courts between things that are in the public interest, and things that merely interest the public. Where applicants have not identified public interest considerations succinctly or accurately, the public authority has a responsibility under the Act to make their own assessment of the public interest considerations in the particular case.
We have identified the following public interest factors that may be seen as encouraging the disclosure of information:
a) accountability of public spending
We consider these factors to be of limited relevance in relation to the information in question.
Public interest factors seen as encouraging non-disclosure are, generally, the exemptions themselves. In consideration of this matter we came to the following conclusions:
a) ensuring that companies are able to compete for business fairly
b) damage to reputation and/or financial interests
In weighing the factors for and against disclosure we have concluded that the likely benefit to the applicant and the wider public of disclosure is outweighed by the likely prejudice caused by such disclosure and that therefore the public interest is better served by non-disclosure.
For the reasons given above we will not be communicating to you the information you have requested.
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