Drastic action on rates sought

With business rates hitting the headlines due to the imminent arrival of the 2017 Rating Revaluation, prompting widespread complaints from ratepayers and business organisations, Andrew Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick & Co is urging the Chancellor to take drastic action in next week’s Budget and abolish transitional surcharges.

He said “According to VOA statistics, 75% of properties should see their rates liabilities fall under the 2017 Rating Revaluation. However, the new transitional system, phasing in rates increases and decreases severely limits rates decreases, so much so that many properties will still be over paying business rates for the entire 5 year life span of the 2017 Rating List. For example, the former Currys shop in Regent Street, Swindon in the town’s prime retail area, had a 2010 RV £282,500, which is due to be reduced £158,000 for 2017, which means its rates liability ought to reduce from £138,707.50 to £75,682, but under the new transitional system, transitional surcharges will apply to this property right up to 2022. With a large number of shop properties vacant, the bold step of abolishing transitional surcharges would give a much needed boost to our efforts to find new occupiers for town centre shops and revitalise the town centre. Whilst this action may appear drastic, the Chancellor has an opportunity to be bold and imaginative and help struggling business who really ought to have a rates decrease now, not in 6 or 7 years’ time.”