Chancellor offers lifeline to ratepayers

Chancellor Phillip Hammond has delivered his first Spring Statement, and befitting the recent thaw in the icy weather conditions, he has, as did his predecessor Nigel Lawson in 1991, predicted the first green shoots of recovery in the public finances, with the deficit now essentially all but eliminated. Hammond also announced that the Rates Revaluation, initially pencilled in for 1st April 2022, will be brought forward to April 2021. So to use his own analogy, “there is light at the end of the tunnel”. Many ratepayers will however have to get used to being in the tunnel until then…

 

He also announced that future revaluations will be every three years, rather than every five years as previously, and seven years as was the case in 2017. This will mean that market trends, be that increases or decreases in sector specific property values, relative to the mean average of values, will be reflected more quickly in rates bills, although it remains the case that shop keepers in provincial cities are still paying rates essentially based on rents agreed prior to the financial crisis of over a decade ago. Those that can hang on until then, in the face of the relentless move of trade to online platforms, many of which avoid business rates altogether, could finally see some long overdue relief.

 

With the Valuation Office, who determine the basis of assessment for local councils, currently consulting on a large redundancy programme, amid huge cost cutting across the public sector, it would seem unlikely that the resources will be available to speed up the process of revaluing all 1.8 million commercial properties across the UK, particularly given that almost one third of them are potentially exempted under the Small Business Rate Relief scheme. This makes it even more likely that a scheme of self assessment will be introduced, where it is up to ratepayers to propose a Rateable Value, and for the Valuation Office to appeal as appropriate, in a reversal of the roles currently.

 

Underwoods continue to offer a rates advice service, and initial assistance is usually provided without charge or obligation. We have over 75 years of experience between us and pride ourselves on good old fashioned personal attention.

 

For more information please contact

Nik Moore on 01604 783001


Tags


Chancellor offers lifeline to ratepayers

Chancellor Phillip Hammond has delivered his first Spring Statement, and befitting the recent thaw in the icy weather conditions, he has, as did his predecessor Nigel Lawson in 1991, predicted the first green shoots of recovery in the public finances, with the deficit now essentially all but eliminated. Hammond also announced that the Rates Revaluation, […]