Sunday, 02 October 2016 20:02

Government reviews business rates

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Government reviews business rates

THE government has announced a revaluation of business rates – a review it says will ensure fairer bills.

The review is significant because by 2020 councils will be able to keep 100% of all locally-raised taxes to help fund local services.

The government said the latest measures are on top of the 2020 reform to business rates.

A consultation on business rates revaluation was announced by local government minister Marcus Jones on Tuesday (27 September).

The government said it would ensure bills reflected changes in the property market.

New figures published by the government as part of the consultation show that most businesses will be unaffected or better off by the changes, with many looking forward to their bills falling.

    See also: Councils to keep £26bn in business rates

This is on top of measures which mean that from next April, businesses will benefit from the biggest ever cut in business rates in England – worth £6.7 billion over the next 5 years.

As a result, the government says 600,000 businesses will pay no business rates at all.

For the small minority of businesses who face an increase in the bills, any rise will be capped at 5% in the first year for small properties.

Transitional relief worth £3.4bn will help business owners adjust to the new bills.

Adjustments to the business rate multiplier will mean that overall, receipts from business rates will remain constant in real terms following the revaluation, said the government.

Mr Jones said: "This government is cutting business rates.

"Yet local firms also need to be confident that the rates they pay are accurate and fair, no matter where they are in country, and these updates will give them that reassurance."

Mr Jones said the government was committed to helping all businesses flourish.

"As we make the system fairer up and down the country, nearly three quarters of companies will see no change, or even a fall, in their bills," he said.

For businesses that faced an increase, the government was putting in place £3.4bn of transitional relief to provide vital support as they adjusted to the changes, said Mr Jones.

This meant increases in business rates bills would be phased in over the five-year period – a relief that Mr Jones said was on top of the increases in small business rate relief.

The deadline for the consultation is 26 October 2016 – details can be found here.

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