Draft impact assessment relating to the consultation on Domestic and Non-Domestic rating measures to support budget sustainability.

1. Introduction

This screening process involves scoping the policy under consideration.  The purpose of policy scoping is to help prepare the background and context and set out the aims and objectives for the policy being screened. This will help identify potential constraints.

Regulation can be defined as: a rule or guidance with which failure to comply would result in the regulated entity or person coming into conflict with the law or being ineligible for continued funding, grants and other applied for schemes.  This can be summarised as all measures with legal force imposed by central government and other schemes operated by central government.

The fundamental criteria is ‘will the policy have an impact (direct or indirect) on the wider business community?

2. Name of the policy

Removal of 50% Non-Domestic Vacant Rating Relief (NDVR)

3. Brief Description of the policy

The policy would see the removal of the 50% NDVR Relief. Currently owners of empty properties pay rates liability at 50% of the occupied rate, unless eligible for exclusion from the policy.

4. Aims of the policy/ Rationale behind the changes

Policy forms part of NIO’s suite of revenue raising measures in the context of the wider NI Budgetary situation.

5. Impact/ Outcomes of the Policy

The change would regularise the treatment of vacant property liability levels with the occupied liability level within the taxation regime.

6. Conclusion

Is the policy or amendment to the policy likely to have a direct or indirect impact on businesses?

  • yes

Is the policy or amendment to the policy likely to have a direct or indirect impact on the voluntary / community sector?

  • no

On the basis of the answers to the screening questions, I recommend that this policy / decision is –

Screened In – Although the measure does not impose regulation upon property owners, and has general application within the taxation regime, it will have a specific identifiable financial impact on owners presently eligible for the 50% reduction. A full RIA including an economic appraisal exercise should be conducted before any final decision is made.

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