DTZ welcomes government move to scrap changes to Rating Appeal System

DTZ has welcomed news that the Government’s proposals to change the system for challenging rateable values have been delayed.

The proposals, which aimed to improve the transparency of business rates valuation, had been planned to come into effect from 1 October 2014.

There were fears within the industry that the changes were likely to make the system to challenge rateable values longer and more onerous, an unwelcome move particularly given the number of outstanding appeals still yet to be resolved.

However, after a period of consultation between a range of local authorities, rating agents, representative bodies and individual businesses it was announced on 31 July 2014 by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) that these proposed changes will instead be considered as part of a wider reform for the 2017 Revaluation.

Mark O’Leary, Director within DTZ’s National Rating Team in Cheltenham commented: “Whilst we understand the Government’s objectives and welcome debate on longer term reform, we felt the timing of trying to implement such a radical change was misjudged and in reality was more likely to prejudice the interests of ratepayers than resolve existing issues.

“We believe the October deadline would have resulted in the VOA being inundated with thousands of appeals, as Surveyors ensured they were lodged prior to the more onerous appeal regulations coming into effect. In reality this would have overloaded the system which already has tens of thousands of appeals outstanding, and we can therefore see the logic in making this decision.

He added: “We are pleased the Government has listened to the views expressed by the various organisations and look forward to engaging in further consultations regarding wider rating reform.”