Section 1100: toll roads and bridges, including ferries
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1. Introduction and General Information
A toll itself is not rateable, but if a toll is payable in respect of the use of land, and where the occupiers of land acquire through their occupation a right or power to receive tolls, then the benefit of the tolls can be taken into account in estimating the rateable value of that land.
1.2 Tests of rateability
In the absence of specific statutory provisions there are, therefore, two questions to be asked in each case and it is only if the answer to both is in the affirmative that the tolls can be taken into account, viz:
a. Is the recipient of the tolls an occupier of land? b. If so, are the tolls paid for the use of that land?
1.3 “Tolls traverse” “tolls thorough”
Tolls payable for passing over land are divided into two types; “tolls traverse” and “tolls thorough”.
A “toll traverse” is the payment by the traveller, to the occupier of the land, where the occupier has an interest in the land, and the road is not in the nature of a public highway.
A “toll thorough” is payment by the traveller for the crossing of land where the road is in the nature of a public highway. The payment received is consideration for road repair and maintenance. The term “toll thorough” is derived from “toll through” both terms have the same meaning in this context.
An occupier benefiting from the presence of a toll traverse may have the value of the right to receive the toll reflected in the value of the occupation.
In the case of a toll through, the existence of a public highway means that exclusive occupation is not present and , so in the absence of statutory intervention , rateable occupation cannot be present either. Occupation of land benefiting from a toll thorough is not rateable for that purpose.
The New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 provides for the construction of new toll roads. Legal opinion has advised that the Act provides for the creation of a “toll thorough” thus operation of roads constructed under this Act cannot satisfy the requirements of rateable occupation. The M6 Toll Road was constructed under this Act.
Ferries crossing rivers or estuaries may be either free moving or fixed by chain between the landing stages. The tolls themselves are not rated.
The landing stages should be subject to conventional rating tests of occupation; actual, beneficial, exclusive and a degree of permanency. Where the landing stages are found to be in rateable occupation, then the value attributed to them is enhanced by the ability to earn tolls.
1.5 Tolls generally
The question of the rateability of tolls is complex and is dealt with in some detail in Ryde on Rating and the Council Tax, Division C Rateable Property, Chapter 3 Lands , C Incorporeal Property and Rights, 3 Tolls.
Follow the instructions contained in the appropriate Practice Note.
3. Hereditaments – Exemptions.
Hereditaments comprising the occupation of land benefiting from the right to receive a toll traverse may in certain circumstances be afforded exemption, in part or in full.
3.1 Local Government Finance Act 1988 Schedule 5 Para 18A.
Schedule 5 para 18A Local Government Finance Act 1988 exempts from rating with effect from the 1st April 1990 , all road crossings of rivers or estuaries - namely road bridges, viaducts, transporter bridges, swing bridges, lifting bridges and tunnels. The exemption applies whether or not a toll is charged for passage across or through the crossing and whether or not the crossing is publicly owned. It includes pedestrian bridges and tunnels (and walkways beside road crossings). Hereditaments falling within this category should therefore not be included in the Rating List.
The exemption also includes the crossing, the approaches, the carriageways and footways, machinery, apparatus, and depot and maintenance areas necessary for the operation of a crossing. Buildings are also exempt UNLESS they are offices, or service or filling stations - difficulties experienced in valuing these parts should be referred immediately to CEO Rating.
Hereditaments within this class which still require to be valued therefore comprise ferries and those bridges, viaducts, tunnels and toll roads which are not road/pedestrian crossings of rivers or estuaries.
3.2 Local Government and Finance Act 1988 Schedule 5 Para 18B
Schedule 5 para 18B Local Government Finance Act 1988 provides for exemptions to the extent that;
“(a) it consists of a road in respect of which charges are imposed by a charging scheme under schedule 23 to the Greater London Act 1999 or Part III of the Transport Act 2000 , or
(b) it is used solely for or in connection with the operation of such a scheme.”
3.3 Exemption may be explicitly granted by Act of Parliament.
Exemption in part or in full may be conferred on a hereditament through provisions of a specific Act of Parliament , generally the Act under which the hereditament has been constructed.
All questions relating to full or partial exemption should be referred to CEO Rating.
4. Valuation Approach
A receipts and expenditure method is still considered to be the most appropriate method for valuing rateable tolls and in this respect reference should be made to Rating Manual section 4: part 2 - receipts and expenditure.
Where a receipts and expenditure method is considered to be inappropriate, there may be other premises let at open market rents which are similar in character to those parts of the toll hereditament which are in rateable occupation. Such evidence should be adopted as a basis for valuation, but adjusted as appropriate if there is any enhancement in value due to the facilities afforded for the collection of tolls.