UK retail calls for business rates rethink as re-rating is brought forward
A number of retail organisations are warning the UK government that its plans for business rates going forward would be disastrous for the sector.
UK businesses are currently benefiting from a 12-month business rates ‘holiday’ due to the coronavirus crisis, but a revaluation next year is still planned.
The Non-Domestic Rating (Lists) Bill has brought forward the date of the revaluation to April 2021 for more than two million non-domestic properties in England and Wales from the original 2022 revaluation date.
It would see the government setting future business rates for a minimum of the next three financial years. The big problem is that those rates would reference rents that retailers were paying in April 2019, a time before many managed to renegotiate lower rents on their stores.
Andrew Goodacre, chief executive at the British Independent Retailers Association called the current proposal “disastrous for all businesses that pay non-domestic rates.” He added that the reference point for setting future business rates should come after the coronavirus “so they are an accurate assessment taking into account the full impact once this crisis has passed”.
A government spokesperson in reply said “we are carefully considering the future revaluation of business rates and will provide further information in due course”.
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