Colliers International has responded to yesterday’s VOA Rating Appeals statistical release by stating the number of outstanding appeals received is the highest on record and with reduced staffing within the VOA the outstanding 284,000 appeals are unlikely to be resolved within the next five years.

The total number of appeals against the 2005 and 2010 Rating Lists being cleared is currently around 26,000 per quarter, meaning it will take the VOA nearly three years to clear the backlog. However, this does not take into consideration any new appeals submitted within the next two years before the proposed 2017 Revaluation comes into effect. 

Colliers argue new appeals typically total 90,000 each year meaning it is likely to take the VOA five years just to clear the 2010 list before it can start to deal with any 2017 Rating List comes into effect.

In addition, Colliers highlighting the unequal comparison between the 2005 and 2010 rating lists as the latter will still accumulate more appeals before the proposed 2017 Revaluation, meaning we could see the total challenges against the 2010 Rating List exceed one million.

Guy Richardson, Colliers Rating Director, commented, “The appeal rate in the first quarter 2015 is significantly higher than the appeal rate in 2010 due to the Government’s 31 March appeals deadline but Wales did not have a time restriction so there may still be another jump to come in Q1 2017. Where ratepayers appeal, nearly 30% are seeing a reduction which means that nearly one in three of businesses who haven’t appealed could still be paying too much.”

John Webber, Colliers Head of Rating, added, “The statistics released today are presented in a relatively misleading manner and fail to highlight exactly how swamped the VOA is. We have never seen this many outstanding appeals to date and it seems like a perfect storm where the VOA has insufficient resources to deal with the current list while having resources reassigned to compile the 2017 Rating List.

“The backlog of appeals makes the VOA look questionable if it undertakes so many reviews, which is arguably a waste of taxpayers’ money, and still reduced a third of assessments on appeal.”

The VOA has undertaken 1.6million assessment reviews though there are only 1.8million hereditaments so it appears these statistics are showing that it has undertaken a mini revaluation on 89% of properties but is still getting so many wrong.

Rating affects all commercial property occupiers including offices, retail, industrial and logistics, hotel, automotive and leisure properties.