Commenting on the Government’s plans to delay the 2015 business rates revaluation, John Webber, head of Rating at Colliers international commented:
“The Government is trying to position delaying a revaluation of business rates as a bonus for businesses - the opposite couldn’t be more true.
“Many businesses and retailers in hard pressed areas of the Country have been eagerly awaiting the five yearly revaluation, due to happen next year. Current business rates are based on 2008 rental values, which are much higher than current figures.
“Cancelling the 2015 revaluation, where business rates would have been based on values at 2013, is nothing short of a scandal. Rental Values for many businesses have plummeted over the last 4 years and so a revaluation would have been welcome for pretty much anywhere other than ‘ Bond Street in London’. Basically, the Government knows that at the 2015 revaluation a huge proportion of businesses would have had a very real expectation of a fall in their rateable values .
“Instead of looking to increase the term of a five yearly revaluation the Govt. should look to shorter revaluation cycles, to ensure that businesses are paying fair and relevant business rates.
“The Govt. is stating they won’t increase rates bills more than inflation. However, postponing the revaluation means many businesses are being denied decreases in real terms. The Government is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of business – struggling businesses have been looking to 2015 as a relief from high rates bills. Having it deferred until 2017 simply means that any decreases in their bills or chance of clawing much needed money back from the Government, will have to be deferred until 2017. The Government is insulting the intelligence of the business community.
“As an example, retail rental values in Kidderminster, between 2008- 2012, have fallen by 25/30%. In comparison, Bond Street’s 2008 – 2012 retail rental values have increased by 50% on average. I think you can draw your own conclusion as to where this Govt. sees its priorities.”