Shepherd welcomes Budget business rates relief measures but warns clock is ticking to revaluation effective from 1st April 2017

Shepherd Chartered Surveyors has welcomed Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Budget announcement of a further £435m of relief for firms hit the hardest by business rates but warns that the clock is ticking to the revaluation effective from 1st April 2017.

gary louttit shep mar17

Presenting a three-point package of reforms, the Chancellor said the government will provide a £1,000 discount for all pubs with a rateable value of less that £100,000 – comprising 90% of pubs in the UK and provide local councils with a £300m fund to offer discretionary relief for hard-hit cases. And any business coming out of small business rate relief will not see their bill rise by more than £50 a month.

Gary Louttit, Head of the Hospitality and Leisure Department at Shepherd Chartered Surveyors, said: “Whilst we welcome the Chancellor’s measures, which come on the back of the Scottish Finance Minister’s recently announced 12.5% cap on rates bill increases for hotels, pubs, restaurants and cafes, the detail is yet to be made available, which will lead to ratepayers requiring expert advice at this eleventh hour – just weeks away from the effective date of 1st April.

“Rating appeals must be lodged before the deadline of 30th September 2017 and so an early conversation with your local rating advisor is strongly advised, who will be able to assist in interpreting the legislation and relief that is currently a ‘moving target’.

“The Chancellor’s announcement, like the Scottish Finance Minister’s recent statement, acknowledges that the problems of hoteliers and publicans being unable to pay the additional levels asked of them had to be addressed.

“This Budget has served to highlight the need for reform of the rating system. Indeed, the Scottish Government has established The Barclay Review Group to make recommendations that seek to enhance and reform the business rates system in Scotland to better support business growth and long term investment and reflect changing marketplaces.

“These recommendations are due in July. In the meantime, we would strongly advise that ratepayers in the hospitality sector take advice on their new Rateable Values from local experts in the field and press on with appeals against the new assessments on the basis that they will still face increases in year one, albeit not as high as expected, but that in years two to five they will face the full impact of these contentious increases if they don’t.

“With the detail behind the business rates cap yet to be revealed, now more than ever, businesses would be advised to contact their local rating advisor for advice on the local impact of rating legislation.”

ENDS

For further information please contact Gary Louttit on 0141 331 2807

Issued on behalf of Shepherd by Liquorice Media tel 0187 738 2961 www.liquorice-media.com

Date: 9 March 2017