Business rates system ‘needs to be fundamentally reformed’

The business rates scheme is not fit for purpose and should be reformed, the Business, Innovation and Skills Commons Select Committee has concluded in a recent report on the retail sector. The Committee is advocating that the Government carries out an intensive review of the business rates scheme to decide whether business rates should be based on sales rather than the rateable value of a property, whether retail should have a separate form of business taxation, and how often rate revaluations should happen. In the short term, the Committee has suggested a six-month business rates amnesty for companies that move into empty properties and a cap on annual increases in business rates of 2%. Adrian Bailey, Chair of the Committee, stated: “Since the system was created, the retail environment has changed beyond all recognition. A system of business taxation based on physical property is simply no longer appropriate in an increasingly online retail world.”
There is more about the retail sector report at:
http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/
business-innovation-and-skills/news/on-publ-retail-sector-report/

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