Wight BID Appeals Process

The WIGHTBID (Business Improvement District) has been created as a way of providing innovative and sustainable funding for Visit Isle of Wight as the Tourist Board & DMO for the Island. In doing so it is a national pioneer in using the current BID mechanism and regulations to support a county-wide operation on a sectoral basis.

The WIGHTBID proposal, as voted on and accepted, agreed to use the business descriptors contained within the National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR) database supplied by the Isle of Wight Council as the basis for inclusion. The list of sector descriptors included, can be found within the WIGHTBID proposal. Broadly speaking they are within the accommodation, attractions, transport, catering, licensed premises, & marine leisure sectors.

The regulations covering BIDs insists that the levy payers are drawn from Valuation Office Agency (VOA) categories within a defined geographical area. Once voted into being, the BID places a legal obligation on all those included within the levy scope in the BID proposal to pay the levy.

It is, however, recognised that the current BID legislation is a somewhat blunt instrument, when it comes to choosing NNDR business descriptors as the only criteria for being included within the BID scope. VIOW realise that there may, exceptionally, be, organisations within the included classifications who do not have the opportunity to benefit directly or indirectly from visitors and their expenditure. Visit Isle of Wight, with the support of its partners, has established an appeals procedure to allow for exemptions to be considered on a case by case basis.

1. Any business or organisation that wishes to be considered for exemption must provide evidence of the following:-

a) That they do not have the opportunity to benefit financially from the visitor economy, either directly, or indirectly

b) That they are not categorised correctly under the VOA categories and should be categorised within a different category, not included within the BID scope

c) That they are no longer trading as a business and have applied for their heraditament to return to residential use

d) That the business has been sold to new owners

Any of the above reasons will only be considered if they apply to the business on or before the start of the BID year i.e. 1st September each year.

2. All exemption requests will need to be in writing clearly setting out the reasons for exemption and providing evidence where available. VIOW may request further information or evidence which the applicant will endeavour to deliver.

3. As well as the information supplied by the applicant, VIOW reserves the right to consider all evidence available in the public domain such as the applicant’s printed & online promotional material in considering the merits of any application for exemption.

4. The Chief Executive of VIOW will also consider whether the business or organisation has any opportunity to benefit from the marketing activity being carried out through the WIGHTBID proposal during the BID period, when considering a) above.

5. Applications will be considered on an individual basis with no precedent being established by particular decisions.

6. Appeal applications will be considered initially by the BID Revenue & Administration Group which will meet monthly.

7. Its recommendations will be submitted to the VIOW BID board for sign off and approval.

8. Decisions will be communicated in writing to applicants setting out any reasons for refusal.

9. Any exemption approved by the WIGHTBID Governance Board is valid for one year. This exemption will be reviewed for each subsequent year to check that similar circumstances apply. Each review may, at the discretion of VIOW, be treated as a review of the validity of the exemption, or require a new application by the applicant, to be conducted under the Bid appeals process.

10. All levy payers are expected to pay their levy in a single payment. If full payment has not been received within two months of the initial invoice for the levy, then a legal recovery process will come into force that will incur additional costs to the levy payer to extend the period of payment term and/or recovery of the full levy fee. Before that time, payments on account are permissible but may not avoid additional costs being applied if full payment is not received within the specified time.

11. All applications, discussions and decisions made will be kept confidential by both applicant and VIOW.

12. The process for appeals will be expected to develop. This process will therefore be kept under review and will be considered by the Board of VIOW from time to time. The process, as amended, will be available to members from VIOW on request.