The British Property Federation (BPF) has praised the British Retail Consortium (BRC) for contributing to the ongoing debate surrounding business rates as it published its review of the UK business rates system, The Road to Reform, today.
The BPF welcomed in particular the suggestion that valuations should be more frequent, which will ensure that businesses are paying rates that more closely correspond with the rental value of the property that they occupy.
The BPF believes that a fundamental review of the current system is necessary, and made recommendations that would help make the system fairer and more supportive of businesses.
• More frequent revaluations
• An end to the 'fixed' nature of business rates, which means that Government's tax take from business rates tends to increase in line with inflation each year – regardless of what is happening to rents, business profitability or wider economic conditions
• Reform of 'empty property rates', a tax on failure that forces the owners of empty buildings to pay full business rates, despite producing no income on the property.
Liz Peace, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation, commented:
"This report is a helpful contribution to the debate surrounding business rates, and underlines the need for reform to help repair this broken tax. The business community must now think widely about what reform should look like, and to seek a system that is fair, certain, and efficient and which raises revenue without hampering growth. We hope to see the Chancellor commit to a fundamental review of business rates in the upcoming Budget."