Colmore BID 3 Ballot FAQ

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions page regarding the BID Ballot. If your question is not answered on this page, please call us on 0121 212 1410.

 

How do BIDs work?
BIDs like Colmore BID are funded by a levy, which is an additional amount added to your business rates. This levy is then used to provide projects that businesses would like to see delivered in a defined geographic area.

In Colmore Business District, projects are currently funded by a levy of 1%. This is paid by businesses who pay more than £10,000 p.a. in Business Rates. Businesses who pay more than £2,500,000 in Business Rates (either individually or combined) have their levy payment capped at £25,000

Over the last year, we have consulted with as many businesses as possible about the levy in Colmore Business District. The review of Business Rates in 2017 has resulted in a reduction in Business Rates for most businesses and, therefore, a reduction in the investment available for projects. The clear outcome from our consultation was that businesses want us to be bold; those who attended consultations were supportive of increasing the levy to 1.5%. This will allow us to do more, but means that 84% of businesses will still pay less than they currently do, when you combine business rates with the new 1.5% levy.

Click here to view a map that shows the area that Colmore Business District will cover.

We have consulted with the Board of Paradise and we have agreed to extend the boundary of the District to include the development as a natural extension of the commercial quarter of Birmingham.

 

Who is entitled to vote?
BID Ballots and BID levies are based on the business rates paid by an organisation. Properties are divided up into rateable units called hereditaments. If a hereditament pays a levy, then it is entitled to a vote.

In Colmore Business District, any hereditament where the Business Rates are above £10,000 per year pays a levy. Therefore, if your business occupies a hereditament that meets this description, you will be able to vote.

We have carried out an extensive research exercise to find out who in each business will be voting. However, the final decision on who votes is one for each company to make. We know that things often change, so if you receive a ballot paper and you aren’t the person who votes, please ensure that you forward the paper to the right person in your company.

 

I don’t own my building / I’m in a building with other businesses, will I be able to vote?
If you pay business rates on your property, and they are £10,000 or above then you are able to vote. If you are in Serviced Offices then your landlord will vote on your behalf.

 

Why have I received more than one ballot paper?
If your company occupies more than one property / hereditament that pays more than £10,000 in business rates, then you will receive a ballot paper for each of them. For example, if you occupy a customer facing office on Colmore Row and you have an admin office on a floor in Newhall Towers, you will receive two ballot papers. If your company occupies two floors in Newhall Towers, you may also receive two ballot papers.

The devision of property into hereditaments isn’t always visible. For example:

ABC Limited actively uses office space across two floors, but in fact has the following three hereditaments:

  1. 2nd floor, Newhall Tower
  2. Part 3rd floor, Newhall Tower
  3. Part 4th floor, Newhall Towers (even though they never use it)

In this example, ABC Limited would receive three ballot papers and would be entitled to vote three times.

We will try to alert levy payers where we are aware that they have multiple hereditaments. In any event, please remember:

  1. Whilst you may only have one address, you may receive multiple ballot papers.
  2. That this is not a mistake; and
  3. That you must return all ballot papers sent to you in order to fully exercise your voting rights.

If you are unsure, please contact the Colmore BID Office on 0121 212 1410.

 

Why is the ballot paper addressed to “The Owner / Occupier”?

On 17 September 2018, Colmore BID had to submit a list of eligible rateable property units (hereditaments) with voting rights attached to them. We have conducted extensive research, contacting businesses by email and phone to establish the levy payer at each property and the identity of the person who should receive the ballot paper. Where we could not establish this, the documents are addressed to “The Owner / Occupier”.

If you gave us a named contact and this has changed, it is now too late to alter this. On receipt of the documents, please tell the named contact to pass the ballot paper on within your business to the correct person. Please also notify the BID office by email or by calling 0121 212 1410 so that we can update our records.

 

My business is in Colmore Business District, but I haven’t had a ballot paper? What should I do?
If your business is based in Serviced Office accommodation, then your landlord is responsible for paying your business rates and, as a result, they will be entitled to vote in the ballot.

If your business pays less than £10,000 per year in business rates, then you do not pay the levy and you are, therefore, unable to vote.

If you are unsure, or if the above does not apply, please contact the Colmore BID Office by email or ring us on 0121 212 1410.

 

I’ve lost my ballot paper / I was expecting a ballot paper and I haven’t received one, what should I do?

If you have lost your ballot paper, or you were expecting to receive a ballot paper and you haven’t, please contact the Colmore BID Office as soon as possible, either by email or ring us on 0121 212 1410.

Replacement ballot papers will be issued on 14 November. After this date we will be unable to send you another paper and you will have lost your opportunity to vote.

 

I own a building but haven’t received a ballot paper?
If your building is currently fully tenanted and your tenants pay business rates of £10,000 per year or more, then they will receive the ballot paper. You will receive a ballot paper for any hereditaments within your building that are not under lease.

If you have engaged a property agent to manage your building, the ballot paper may have been sent to them. Please speak to them directly about your vote.

 

My property currently has no tenants, why have I received a ballot paper?
If you own a property with no tenants, and it is split into hereditaments that would be valued as needing to pay £10,000 per year or more in business rates, then the responsibility for paying the levy, and the right to vote in the ballot will fall to you. As your property gains tenants, these rights and responsibilities will transfer to them during the term.

If you have engaged a property agent to manage your building, the ballot paper may have been sent to them. Please speak to them directly about your vote.

 

What is a proxy voter?
If you would like someone else to vote on your behalf, and you have not already told us, you can appoint a proxy voter. In order to do this you must write to ERS telling them:

  • The full name and address of the person you want to vote on your behalf; and
  • The address(es) of your hereditament(s)

You will need to sign your letter and include a statement that the person is willing to do this on your behalf, and that they are capable of voting for you.

Please send the letter to:

Electoral Reform Services
33 Clarendon Road
London
N8 0NW

Do not send them to the BID Office.

This must be done before 10 November. The person you nominate will then be entitled to vote on your behalf.

 

Why is there a list of streets on the ballot paper?
The list of streets sets out the area that the BID would cover. It is a requirement for us to provide you with this.