COUNCILLORS have voted to join the Leeds City Region (LCR) business rates pool.
At Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, members agreed to join the scheme, which will see Kirklees Council’s business rates income put into a central pot alongside the incomes of other local authorities in the LCR.
The pool is designed to help the participating authorities share the risks and rewards in changes in council income, and encourage collaboration instead of competition.
It is also believed overall cooperation will help to generate additional funds for the authorities involved.
Income received by the LCR pool will be shared out so that no authority will be worse off than if it was under an individual business rates retention scheme.
The pool will be made up of three tarriff authorities (Leeds, York and Harrogate), and four top-up authorities (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield).
Tarriff authorities that grow their business rates by more than the retail price index (RPI) will support councils in the scheme who suffer large losses to their business rate income from year to year.
Estimates suggest that if growth across the tarriff councils was one per cent above inflation, additional income of more than £600,000 could be achieved for the pool in the first year.
However exact savings are unknown, as councils were still finalising their business rates projections for 2013/14 up until last week.