New charity exemption scheme for water and sewerage charges
The Scottish Government has introduced a new scheme which should allow more charities to save money on water and sewerage charges.
Scottish registered charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs can apply for exemption if their annual income is below £200,000, providing:
the charity does not hold a permanent alcohol licence to sell alcohol at the property,
the property is not a charity shop or otherwise used for the purpose of retailing merchandise,
the property is not operated as a café (open to the public and operated on a regular basis to generate income), and
the organisation is not a local authority or subject to local authority control or influence.
Those with income between £200,000 and £300,000 may be eligible to pay a reduced rate. The income-related cap under the outgoing scheme was £60,000, so this does appear to be a positive development for the sector. The government estimates the total savings will amount to £6.5 million.
The new scheme will take effect on 1 April 2015, but charities and CASCs can make applications now. Application forms should be sought directly from service providers and, if a charity occupies several premises, then multiple applications can be made.
Those already benefiting from exemption will be automatically enrolled in the new scheme.
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