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Sheffield floats ADZ tax plan

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Sheffield City Council could be poised to join the likes of Birmingham in pushing for a greater say in setting business taxation.

Council leader Paul Scriven (Lib Dem) has floated the idea of forming an accelerated development zone (ADZ) as one potential use of the Sustainable Communities Act in the city.

Under an ADZ, a council retains a proportion of business taxes within a specified area rather than surrender them to the Treasury, as happens now. This would give local authorities a stable revenue stream against which to borrow to fund investment.

“We see an ADZ as a major tool to be able to go ahead with regeneration projects,” said Cllr Scriven. “The ‘ask’ of government is not to approve a particular scheme but to bring forward legislation to allow us to do it as a local authority area.”

Birmingham City Council is in talks with the Treasury about setting up such a zone (LGC - 29/01/09).

Under the act, councils can put forward proposals for government action that will be of benefit to their communities. Submissions must go to the Local Government Association by July for assessment.

Sheffield also wants to override immigration laws to get skilled asylum seekers into work.

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