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'No excuse' for government to revise rates



Comment on the Labour Victory from John Webber, Head of Business Rates at Colliers: “Given the size of the landslide victory, there should be no excuse for the Labour party to avoid addressing the business rates problem or to introduce significant reform, which will help protect the high street. We urge reform, as opposed to abolition, to ensure local authorities continue to receive the stable funding they need.

 

After more than 30 years of mismanagement from successive governments, we now have a multiplier which at over 50p in the pound, means a 50% tax on property occupation, a complicated relief system with business rates deserts in some parts of the country and an appeal system that’s inefficient, lacking transparency and increasingly difficult for businesses to negotiate without an adviser. The current system is just not fit for purpose.

 

British business deserves more. Let’s hope Labour listens to what we and other professionals and businesses in the sector have been calling for- and don’t just throw the baby out with the bath water. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to tackle the current system: rebase the multiplier to something businesses can afford, review the relief system so that everyone that uses local services pays something, reform the appeal system and to regulate business rates advisers, so businesses are not at the mercy of rogue traders.

 

We will continue our lobbying role to try and persuade the new administration to create a fair property tax that is affordable, transparent and easy to administer, encouraging businesses to expand and invest rather than downsize or even close down their bricks-and-mortar estates.”

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