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Rating revaluation – what it means for independent retailers in the UK

The new Rating List will reveal many winners and losers – broadly a northern gain and a southern loss.  With a harder and more complicated appeals process, preparing for receipt of 2017 rates bills will be difficult. However, for the businesses who face an increase in the bills, any rise will be capped at 5% in the first year for small properties, with a dedicated system of transitional relief worth £3.4 billion to help business owners adjust to the new bills.

The need for more frequent revaluations, which will happen in the future, will do nothing to help the suddenness of a change from previous 2008 based figures.  The rateable value poundage, or multiplier, is expected to be set at its highest ever level, near 50p.  This is a long way from the 35p back in 1990.

Commenting on the changes Alan Hawkins, CEO of bira, said “Whilst bira wishes those members with a substantially reduced rates bill well, it will do nothing to reduce the fears and pressures on those at the other end of the scale. The government missed a trick in only helping businesses with a rateable value below £12,000 in its last budget.  This has been too low to be of use to the majority of bira members.  In their current form, rates are unsustainable and will continue to pressurise survival on the high street”.