How are Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) funded?
Agricultural Land Drainage rates are raised directly through a local tax on owners of agricultural land, ranging from small paddocks through to large fields. The Land Drainage Rate is based on a percentage of the annual value (equivalent to annual rental value) of agricultural land and buildings. This is potential value regardless of if the land is in use at the time.
Domestic and Business Drainage Rates were once collected directly by the IDBs but are now collected as an average amount on their behalf by the Council through Council Tax, Business Rates and from part of a fund the Council receives from central government called the Revenue Support Grant. This is through a mechanism called the ‘Special Levy’.
Some of our funding for capital schemes (non-maintenance works) comes from central government funds via local and national agencies such as the Environment Agency. We also sometimes receive funding from the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee who are in turn funded by a local levy on Yorkshire’s Council Tax payers.
Land Drainage Rate Demand
If you have received a Land Drainage Rate Demand (the rate demand) this means that we believe you are the occupier of agricultural land within the land drainage district and you are liable to pay drainage rates. If you are not the occupier of land or you think the information on the rate demand is incorrect, it is important that you tell us as soon as possible.
The law clearly places the onus on the Occupier to inform the Board of changes.
The rate demand is a form of local tax that is payable ‘on demand’. The Board will allow a short non-statutory grace period from the date of the rate demand for payment.
Payment should be made by 31st May of the current year.
If you are having difficulty paying your rate demand, you should contact us immediately. In special circumstances the Board may enter into an agreement to accept payments in installments. If we grant such a request, we will ask you to sign an agreement, which if broken will result in immediate demand for the full amount.
What if I sell land or give up a tenancy?
The occupier on the 1st April of the current year is responsible for payment of the full amount; you may choose to enter into a private agreement with the new occupier or your landlord about rates you have paid or owe. The Board will not be party to these agreements.
Do you pay Business Rates?
If we have sent you a rate demand for a property that you pay business rates on (or on part of it) you should tell us immediately so that you are not paying too much. You may pay different types of rates on different parts of your property.
Contact our Rates Team
We are here to help, our Rates Team are contactable at:
What happens if I do not pay my Land Drainage Rates?
If you are familiar with Council Tax, the rules for payment are very similar.
Land Drainage Rates are payable on demand. This is a tax demand, not a utility bill. If the occupier is a business please do not treat the demand as a supplier invoice, this is a tax demand which the business must pay by law, on demand – the Board will not entertain any ‘requirement for a purchase order’.
If we have not received payment by 31st May of the current year and you have not contacted us, we will begin a process to recover the outstanding debt.
We may contact you again to remind you that money is owed; we reserve the right to make a charge for the costs in dealing with such a reminder which we may seek to recover later.
If after we have reminded you, there remains an outstanding balance, we will make an application to the court service for a summons. A summons means that you will be asked to appear in court to explain why you have not paid the demand. If you do not agree with our decision you have the right to make a challenge in front of a magistrate.
Should any challenge be lost or not defended the Board will apply for a Liability Order which gives it legal powers to recover funds.
If a debt collection agent contacts you to recover monies owed, they will first recover their fees and then the amount owed to the Board. If during this period you attempt to make a payment directly to the Board, this will not make a difference to the amount you must pay to our debt collection agents; any excess payment will be returned to you after all debts and fees are settled.
Once a debt collection Agent is appointed the Board will not enter into any communication until the fees of the debt collection agent, costs to the Board and the debt have been fully met.
Finance and accounts
The Board’s financial procedures are set out in its Financial Regulations which can be found in the policies and resources section of this website.
The Board employs a dedicated in-house finance team that deals with accounts, suppliers, customers, payroll and budget monitoring. We also use chartered accountants, internal auditors and other specialists to help with this service area.
Information for Suppliers
We will normally pay our Suppliers within 28 Days from receipt of a valid invoice but will attempt to do this earlier if possible. If you are a supplier and have sent the Board a valid invoice by post please allow 28 days for payment before contacting us or we will merely refer you to these terms.
The Board does not tolerate Cold Callers or Email Spammers. If you wish to make the Board aware of a product or services on offer please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the direct contact details of a named person in your organisation. If this is of interest the Board will contact you.
The Board may invite suppliers to tender for contracts. Depending on the value of the work this shall be done through invitation, a valid framework contract or by public advertisement.
When the Board provides goods or services for others, our terms for payment are strictly 28 days from the date of our invoice unless agreed otherwise, failure to meet these terms will immediately result in a debt recovery process.
We would ask suppliers and customers to refrain from sending invoices and remittances to individual members of staff but the above email address.
Contact our Finance Team
We are here to help, our Finance Team are contactable at