Readers of this blog will know that we are tracking developments on the emerging incentives to be made available to local authorities who "go for growth". The detail around the New Homes Bonus is now well understood and the scheme under way, but we are waiting more information on the Government's further proposals to promote all forms of commercial development. Legislation to bring in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is expected in the autumn and work is under way on the Local Government Resource Review.
Tucked away in the Government's response to its consultation on the draft energy NPSs (published on DECC's website last week) is a reference to the first wave of proposals for reform being in July 2011. How far these go in allowing local authorities to retain business rates from commercial development in their area remains to be seen, but this promises to be a significant step in the move towards growth.
It will be interesting to contrast whatever comes out with the proposals for Enterprise Zones - the bids for which must be in this week. In EZs, business rates will be retained locally (although the relevant Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will take the decisions on how to spend the receipts). It is not clear at the moment how if at all that will be different under a national incentive scheme.