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Labour considering expansion of high street levy

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BIDs are business collectives which focus on specific geographic areas. Following a ballot, all eligible businesses in the area are charged a levy (usually 1-2 per cent) on top of their normal business rates, regardless of whether they voted to participate or not – with exemption for the smallest businesses.

The funds generated are used to pay for services such as extra security, cleaning and other initiatives. Members can sometimes participate in collective buying arrangements. Examples include London’s inmidtown and Heart of London, and others across the country.

According to the Telegraph, a report from Labour’s high streets advisory group recommends “diversifying the application of BIDs, including the ability to assess property owners and residents” and suggests that “new tools will need to be explored which diversify income streams”.

This suggests that, for instance, local residents or commercial property owners could potentially be included in the levy.

Labour spokespeople had not returned calls for comment, the Telegraph said.

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