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Church of Scientology: Non-domestic Rates

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Jackson) of 7 May 2009, Official Report, column 382W, on the Church of Scientology, whether the Valuation Office Agency recognises venues of the Church of Scientology as places of public worship eligible for an exemption from non-domestic rates. (277023)

It is for the Valuation Officers of the Valuation Office Agency to decide whether any hereditament is a place of public religious worship which is exempt from non-domestic rates in accordance with Paragraph 11 of Schedule 5 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988. In general, following an Appeal Court decision in 1970, Valuation Officers do not regard premises occupied by the Church of Scientology as being so exempt.