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News Release

London

Head of Rating at Jones Lang LaSalle comments on the governments terms of reference for the review of business rates published today


London, 13th February, 2014 – Commenting on the government’s announcement of the terms of reference for the review of business rates published today, Tim Beattie, head of Rating at Jones Lang LaSalle, said: “The government’s announcement today will be broadly welcomed by business particularly the retail sector which has been calling for change for some time.

“The terms of reference include the scope for improvements in communication and the exchange of information between ratepayers and public bodies which at first sight appears to overlap with the current consultation on checking and challenging rateable values. As the current appeal consultation is proposing fundamental changes to the existing appeal system by 1 October 2014 and will impose significant barriers to justice for unrepresented ratepayers, I would call on the government to have just one review by scrapping the consultation on checking and challenging rateable values and consolidating it into one business rate administration review with immediate effect.

“I would further urge the government to consider bringing forward the 2017 revaluation to 2016 but retain the same antecedent valuation date, 1 April 2015, as it would bring forward by one year the date UK business could expect an up-to-date tax base. For government, it would avoid increased costs in preparing a revaluation and would speed up the much needed adjustment of rateable values to current economic realities. It would also make those valuations more accurate by reducing the two year gap between the valuation date and the list coming into force to one year. In these times of austerity, there should be no overall cost to the treasury and this approach would make economic sense.”​