British Property Federation proposes reforms to business rates revaluations

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

British Property Federation proposes reforms to business rates revaluations

Related tags Business rates

The British Property Federation (BPF) has proposed the Government introduce annual business rates revaluations, describing the current system as 'broken'.

In response to the Government’s Business Rates Revaluations Consultation, which closes today (24 August), the property association said the tax has failed to respond to significant changes in the UK economy.

It said that while rent levels outside London had come down by more than 50% in real terms over the past decade, business rates bill have continued to rise.

The Government’s consultation proposes moving to more frequent three-yearly revaluations, but the BPF has claimed it needs to go further and is calling on ministers to set out a roadmap to move to make them annual.

In addition, it has fed back that the business rates multiplier must be reset at a fairer level, that downward phasing should be abolished and that additional business rates relief should be provided where properties are empty.

Melanie Leech, chief executive, British Property Federation, said: “The business rates system is undermining town centre recovery and poses a significant risk to the future of our high street businesses. Business rates have become so unaffordable, they are now hampering town centres’ ability to adapt, modernise and thrive.

“We welcome this first step to increase frequency and transparency of revaluations, but the Government must recognise it is only the beginning of the journey to create a more sustainable and fairer system.”

Commenting on the Government’s proposals to restrict property owners’ rights to make appeals, where the owner is not the rate payer, Leech said the idea was 'unjust'.

“Property owners have a legitimate need to interact with the rating system, including where they are not the ratepayer, and must retain this right,” she added.

"This is a vital tool that allows property owners to effectively market their properties and secure new tenants."

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