Businesses ordered to pay BID levy


DOZENS of Hexham business owners who did not pay their share of a levy to the Hexham Business Improvement District (BID) were ordered to pay by magistrates on Thursday.

150 businesses were issued with summonses to Newcastle Magistrates' Court on Thursday, April 20, after failing to pay the BID levy, due in December.

But some businesses say they were not consulted on the BID, which was introduced in September after a ballot of local companies, or will not benefit from it, and have been withdrawing payment in protest.

Northumberland County Council said over a third of those who were summoned made payments before the court date, leaving 79 businesses to face recovery action.

14 business owners turned up at court to individually present their cases against paying the levy, but many walked out during the proceedings in protest of the decisions.

Magistrates determined that the sum was payable and had not been paid in all but one case, which was adjourned due to a mix-up with names.

Businesses, including those who did not attend the summons, were granted a liability order, with a cost of £100, a £45 fine and also incurred court costs of £40.

A liability order gives the council additional powers for collecting the debt owed. If it remains unpaid, it can be passed onto the council’s appointed debt recovery agents.

For more, see next week's Hexham Courant.

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