Rate Bill
Lambert Smith Hampton

Member Article

Rate bills to outstrip council tax for first time in decade

In 2015, for the first time in a decade, government income from business rates will exceed council tax collections, according to national commercial property consultancy, Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH).

Unrepresented occupiers will soon be paying more to the Exchequer than those with the right to elect their government.

Chris Wilkinson, Senior Surveyor at LSH in Newcastle, said: “One of the most enduring concerns of business leaders is the increasingly disproportionate profile of business rates as an element of local taxation.

“In today’s recovering economic environment, rates take most of the burden and individual rate demands are often greater than rent because rating assessments have to be based upon rental values from early 2008.”

The rating system would benefit from a number of changes to make it more palatable, assist economic growth and encourage regeneration.

LSH supports the following six reforms for business rates:

1. Reverse the decision to delay the revaluation until 2017

2. Enable annual rolling revaluations to de-mystify the process for occupiers and keep pace with changes in the economy

3. Rating self-assessment: empower businesses to assess their own Rateable Values

4. Fixed multiplier increase to replace the annual index-linked UBR increase

5. Abolish Empty Property Rates

6. Flat business rates for small businesses

Chris added: “The proposed changes are not insignificant. But, they are pragmatic, achievable and will go a long way towards simplifying the system. They will also reduce costs and ensure that business ratepayers achieve representation.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Lambert Smith Hampton .

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