The introduction of a new Rating List from 1 April 2017, based on April 2015 market values now being discussed in the media and Chamber President Andrew Knowles has been asked to comment.
Mickey Jones, CEO of DJ Property addressed the Weymouth and Portland Chamber Business Breakfast last week with his views on the subject.
He warned: “Businesses need to be aware of the new rateable values and to check with the Valuation Office. Demand for properties with RVs less than £12k will increase dramatically and demand for properties just over this will decline. Business Rates will therefore determine the market for property.”
“The market for quality, well located commercial property is very strong in South Dorset but Weymouth, like most towns in the UK, simply has too many shops. These shops need to be converted to residential or leisure uses, as they are simply not needed and will never be needed.
It is time to accept Retailing has changed for good, therefore our High Streets must change”.
He said: “I fundamentally disagree with business rates. Why should the size of a building that a business occupies determine the business rate. It’s all wrong.
“For example, someone who owns a jewellery repair shop will only need a small space and someone who a vegetable company would need a much large space to store everything – yet both could be making the same profit. But one would have to pay a much higher business rate.
“All businesses with properties that have a rateable value over £12,000 have to pay rates.
“But if you own a business that has a rateable value of £11,000 for example and decide to do some improvement works, like install a new floor and replace the lights, it will increase the rateable value of the property and therefore it will fall into the bracket where business rates have to be paid. This will obviously affect the business.
“This also increases the demand for properties under the value of £12,000. It will distort the market. I don’t think it will help to progress the market. “There will be less demand for bigger businesses.
“If you are looking at the area for your company you will be looking for smaller properties. People make decisions based on price. But a bigger property will allow and create more employment in the area.
“I think we should increase corperation tax and scrap business rates altogether.”
Pubs and restaurants are calling for the chancellor to dilute the impact of business rate rises due in April.
The Association for Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has written to Philip Hammond asking for more transitional relief for the sector.
The letter written by the ALMR on behalf of its members says that “on average, the pub sector will see a 15% increase and restaurants a 23% increase across the country”.
“This will add a further £300m to £500m in additional cost in the hospitality sector,” it says.
The ALMR says the impact of the extra costs could threaten the positive contribution the sector is making to overall economic growth in the UK. The ALMR represents leading brands, including Pizza Express, Wagamama and Yo Sushi, as well as smaller businesses operating from only one or two premises.
“We would urge you to consider reviewing the transitional relief provisions and the introduction of sector specific hospitality retail relief,” the letter says.
The rates topic is now being discussed in the media and this your chance to have your say.
From September 2016 this article is worth reading http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37483274