New water exemption scheme opens for Scottish organisations
Charities with an income of up to £300,000 can now claim an exemption or discount from water and sewerage charges under new legislation taking effect this week.
The threshold has been raised from the previous £66,000 after much lobbying from the sector.
The new Water Charges Exemption Scheme was announced at the beginning of this week takes effect from the new financial year starting on 1 April 2015.
Registered charities which have an income of less than £200,000 will no longer need to pay water and sewerage charges, while those with incomes between £200,000 and £300,000 will be able to pay a reduced rate.
The scheme will cost an estimated £6.5 million with Scottish Water paying £4.5m while the rest will be paid by the Scottish Government.
The new water and waste charges exemption scheme means charities with an income of less than £200,000 will no longer have to pay
Infrastructure secretary Keith Brown said: “Charities and community amateur sports clubs make an important contribution to the well-being of communities up and down Scotland. It is important that they are supported.
“The new water and waste charges exemption scheme means eligible charities with an income of less than £200,000 will no longer have to pay anything – meaning more of their money can be used to support the valuable services that they provide. This replaces the current scheme that everyone agrees is outdated.”
The current scheme is open to any organisation, charitable or otherwise, that has a net annual income of less than £66,000 and began receiving relief prior to 1999.
The new scheme removes the 1999 qualfication date and takes into account gross annual income.
Organisations registered with the current scheme that ends on 31 March 2014 will automatically be enrolled in the new scheme.
The scheme is administered by the water industry on behalf of the government.
Charities should contact their provider to request an application form.