|1. Empty Property Rate Relief
In April 2008, the government removed the 5% relief on retail property, after a period of three months' full relief. This risk penalised landlords with vacant properties, with a possible negative impact of the local economy.
We support the BPF's campaign on empty rates relief. You can help us to give real evidence on how harmful this unfair taxing is.
2. Business Rate Supplements
We endorse the Government's support of BCSC's position that increasing this year's business rates bills by 5%, based on last September's RPI figure, would have an extremely damaging effect on many retailers, with subsequent knock-on effects on the retail property sector.
As of 1 April 2009 businesses will be able to spread payment of this year's inflation up-rating to business rates over three years to 2011 / 2012. As a result, businesses will be able to pay a 2% annual increase in 2009 / 2010 and the remaining 3% over the following two years.
3. Revaluation and transitional rate relief
Every five years, commercial property is re-valued. Some sectors of the economy, particularly retail, will see an increase in business rates bills, and must receive a fair deal on transition to phase these increased rates.
4. 2009/2010 rates increase
Between every revaluation, every year's rates increase is set by September's RPI of the following year. In September's RPI was a historically high 5%, even though inflation fell to 0%. .
UPDATE: In July 2009, following informal consultation with BCSC and others, government published regulations which come into force on 31 July supporting its Business Rates Deferral Scheme. Businesses will be eligible to apply to defer part of this year's business rates increase from 3 August 2009. We will be working with government on a communications plan to raise awareness of this opportunity, targeting retailers in particular.
> Business Rates Deferral Scheme fact sheet