The BID levy

We are funded primarily by all the eligible businesses and organisations in the BID area paying an annual BID levy. This levy income allows us to deliver against the BID business plan. It is also used to lever in more funding; for example, from public sector agencies, grant bodies and sponsorship during the 5-year term, maximising the potential funding stream and the benefits that the BID can achieve. Over the course of its first term up to 2021, Watford BID Ltd generated 29% additional income, which was reinvested back into the BID area to support businesses.

Who has to pay the BID levy?

The person or organisation liable to pay the non-domestic rates for the property, with a rateable value of £10,000 or more, is liable to pay the BID levy. Where a property is occupied, this will be the occupier, for empty properties the person or organisation entitled to occupy the property is liable to pay. This will normally be the leaseholder or the owner.

What happens if I don’t pay?

The BID levy is mandatory and Watford Borough Council, who collect the levy on our behalf, will take action to recover any outstanding money owed. Any levy payer experiencing genuine financial difficulties should contact us or the Council at the earliest possible opportunity to explore spreading the outstanding liability over a period of months to help the situation.

How is the BID levy calculated?

The charging mechanism is simple and fair. The BID levy is currently charged at 1.5% of the Rateable Value of each eligible business within the BID area. This means if the rateable value of your business is £10,000, your annual BID levy would be: £150. Retailers that pay a service charge to Atria Watford are charged at the lower rate of 1.25%. Registered Charitable organisations not based within a retail unit pay a reduced BID levy rate of 0.5%.

Transparency and accountability

We are accountable to each and every levy payer. We are not-for-profit and all accounts are published in an annual report, which is distributed to all levy payers. Our levy payers are invited to our annual general meeting each year – usually September. Our Board is made up of representatives from different business sectors operating in the BID area. Its directors areelected annually and are responsible for governance matters such as financial arrangements, contractual obligations, human resources, standards and compliance. We have achieved British BIDs accreditation for being a well-run BID.

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