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Non-Domestic Rates: Religious Buildings

Volume 493: debated on Wednesday 3 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr. Jackson) of 7 May 2009, Official Report, column 382W, on the Church of Scientology, what (a) criteria and (b) methodology the Valuation Office Agency uses to determine whether a faith community is deemed to be eligible for a place of worship business rate exemption. (277024)

Schedule 5 para. 11(1) to the Local Government Act 1988 provides the criteria for exemption from non-domestic rating for places of public religious worship. Premises occupied by a faith community will be exempt providing:

It is a place of religious worship

The worship is public

The premises are certified as a place of religious worship by the Registrar General or belong to the Church of England or the Church in Wales.

Valuation officers’ methodology is to follow the above criteria.