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News Release


JLL Rating slams UK government proposed changes to business rates appeal procedures

Proposals will make it almost impossible for businesses to contest their rates.

​Tim Beattie, Lead Director of Rating at JLL has slammed the UK government’s proposed changes to business rates appeal procedures, following the 2017 Rating Revaluation. The proposed plans, which are up for consultation until October 2016, will make it almost impossible for businesses to contest their rates. 

“They are clumsy and ill thought out. So much so that they could render business rates the new ‘Poll Tax’ for businesses” said Beattie.

“In attempting to curtail the deluge of speculative appeals in the system the government is using a proverbial sledgehammer to crack a nut and the unintended consequences of this could be wide reaching.

Beattie, added: “Adam Smith, widely considered to be the father of modern economics, believed that there are four maxims of taxation and the first of those is the concept of equity.

“By severely curtailing the legitimate appeal rights of ratepayers and limiting the remit and powers of the independent tribunals the Valuation Office Agency will effectively become judge, jury and executioner, which will lead to unfairness and mistrust in the system.

“Given the increasing importance of business rates as a revenue source for government, and bearing in mind what happened with the last major tax that was perceived to be unfair – the Poll Tax, the government would be wise to heed the widespread calls for a radical rethink of their proposed plans for reforming business rate appeals.” 

Read JLL's recent buisness rates reserach paper