Business Improvement District (BID)
A Business Improvement District (BID) is a defined area in which a levy is charged on all business rate payers in addition to the business rates bill. This levy is used to develop projects which will benefit businesses in the local area.
What is the 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 BID will start on 1 October 2018 and last for 5 years until 30 September 2023. You will be issued with a levy bill from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019. Thereafter a notice will be issued every October for the period 1 October to 30 September.
Your business rates demand notices will continue to be issued as normal.
Enquiries about BID
If your enquiry is about payment or the amount you are charged then you should contact the Council.
Email: Our Business Rates Team.
Telephone: 01622 602230
BID service or other enquiry
If your enquiry is about the BID services or anything other than payment you should contact the BID Company:One Maidstone
The Mall Management Suite
Email: One Maidstone
Telephone: 01622 678777
What is the council’s role in the BID?
We are responsible for collecting the levy for any business improvement district in our area. We are not responsible for providing the BID services because there is a non-local authority BID body for the Maidstone BID.
Who has to pay the BID levy?
The person or organisation liable to pay the Business 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. The Council 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 Business Ratepayers in the Business Improvement District area.
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 Maidstone BID Company Limited) to pay for the BID services that are provided by the company.
What do I get for my money?
Maidstone BID Ltd is responsible for providing the BID services. You should contact Maidstone BID Ltd 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 the Council or enhancements to existing services.
I don’t benefit from BID services why should I pay?
The money collected from the BID levy will go towards the additional services that will be provided by Maidstone BID Ltd. The BID levy is a charge payable by law. If you have an enquiry about how you can benefit from BID services you should contact the Maidstone BID Ltd.
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 July 2018 is binding on all non-domestic ratepayers in the BID area from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2023. 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.
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. This will normally be the leaseholder or owner.
Paying for BID
Can I pay by instalments?
No. The BID levy is payable in one payment due on 1 October 2018 (representing 6 months). Thereafter it will be an annual payment due on 1 April each year.
What should I do if I can’t pay?
If you have genuine financial difficulty and are unable to pay then you should contact the Council straight away. 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 chargeable day. So, if you cease to be liable to Business Rates part way through a financial year (e.g. you sell the property) and have already paid in full, there will be no refund (unlike your Business Rates account which is calculated on a daily basis).