Postponement of business rates revaluation welcomed by Exmouth chamber chairman

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 May 2020

Ian Macqueen of Exmouth Chamber of Commerce has reacted to business rates revaluation being postponed. Picture: Archant

Ian Macqueen of Exmouth Chamber of Commerce has reacted to business rates revaluation being postponed. Picture: Archant

Archant

The postponement of the business rates revaluation has been welcomed by the chairman of Exmouth’s Chamber of Commerce.

The Parade Exmouth. Ref exe 02 19TI 8244. Picture: Terry IfeThe Parade Exmouth. Ref exe 02 19TI 8244. Picture: Terry Ife

The Government announced on Wednesday (May 6) that the anticipated revision of the rates, which was set to take place in 2021, will now not happen due to the current coronavirus crisis.

Business rates are a tax businesses pay for non-domestic use of a building. These are set according to the ‘rateable value’ of the premises.

The last valuation took place in 2017 and legislation had been introduced to bring the next revaluation forward by one year from 2022 to 2021.

However, following the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, government ministers ‘want to ensure businesses have more certainty during this difficult time’.

Ian MacQueen, chairman of Exmouth Chamber of Commerce welcomed the news.

He said: “All the current financial assistance measures that the Government has put through to help the retail sector, including suspension of business rates for 12 months, are both welcome and necessary.

“Retail as an industry, with few exceptions, has been hit very hard by Covid-19 and in all likelihood a significant number of businesses may well not reopen and/or go out of business during 2020.

“It follows that any upward revaluation of rates, whenever that may be, will add even greater strain to this struggling industry.

“It has long been known that the business rating system has a number of anomalies within its structure and therefore it is to be hoped that when a revaluation takes place a fairer and more equable system will arise.”

Communities Secretary of State Robert Jenrick MP said: “We have listened to businesses and their concerns about the timing of the 2021 business rates revaluation and have acted to end that uncertainty by postponing the change.

“Now is the time for us to continue to focus on supporting businesses affected by the pandemic, including through our unprecedented package of almost £10 billion in business rates relief.”

The government is continuing work on a review of business rates, with the ‘key aims of reducing the overall burden on businesses, improving the current business rates system, and considering more fundamental changes in the medium-to-long term’.


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