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London, 30th January 2014 – Commenting on the details of business rates relief details published by the Department for Communities and Local Government this week, Tim Beattie, Lead Director in Jones Lang LaSalle’s Rating team, said: “It’s interesting to see the detail of the plans laid out in the Autumn Statement. While rate relief for two years will be welcome news to the retailers it is helping, there are many other services that are also feeling the sting of high rates such as medical services, professional services such as solicitors and accountants and other services including employment agencies that will not benefit from this initiative.
“The Government also expects local government to grant relief to qualifying ratepayers using existing discretionary powers which are anticipated to present some practical difficulties in delivering the relief.”
Tim Vallance, Lead Director in Jones Lang LaSalle’s Retail team, added: “What the retail sector would really benefit from is for the Government to re-instate the 2015 Rating Revaluation or consider bringing forward the 2017 revaluation to 2016 but keeping the same antecedent valuation date of 1 April 2015 that would have applied to the 2017 revaluation. An even more radical solution would be to replace the current property tax with a sales tax that may more fairly reflect ability to pay and online sales. However, the complexity required to make such a system work could make its implementation prohibitive.”
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