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Places Of Religious Worship

Volume 21: debated on Wednesday 31 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards places certified under the Places of Religious Worship Registration Act 1855 for the purposes of the application to them of section 39(2)(a) of the General Rate Act 1967—exemption from rateability of places of public religious worship.

Premises certified as places of religious worship under the 1855 Act are not liable to be rated, provided that they are used as places of public worship. Valuation officers, who have a statutory responsibility to make and maintain a valuation list for each rating area, are required to take a view as to whether, in the light of that criterion, exemption is appropriate in any particular case. There are provisions under the General Rate Act 1967 for appeal by ratepayers or rating authorities against a valuation officer's decision.