Business rates '˜threaten the High Street', says BID
Chichester BID will be joining business representatives around the county asking for a review of business rates, as companies prepare for the first re-evaluation since 2010.
Property values, which underpin the rates, have soared around Chichester and a jump in costs will ‘threaten the High Street’, said BID manager Charlotte Wickins.
She said that some rates would go down as a result of the re-evaluation but that for small businesses, a higher rate would be bad for cashflow.
“It’s the system that’s at fault, it’s the system that needs to be changed, it’s based on property value and that’s just gone up and up.
“The BID is concerned about business rates because it threatens the high street.”
She said any rise in rates would be an ‘added stress’ on shopkeepers already facing high rents, particularly as wages have not increased to match property prices.
Business rates are a tax on non-domestic properties based on ‘rateable values’, the theoretical rental value of the property.
Rateable values are periodically reviewed to match property prices but the last re-evaluation, due in 2015, was delayed for another two years by the Government.
While not all rates will go up, there are growing concerns the leap in more affluent areas will be too much for smaller companies.
Ms Wickins said a BID levy of 1.25 per cent of rateable values was invested back into the city centre, but the Government set tax was too high.
“The question is, do businesses see a value if your rates are that high - how much are you getting for it?” she said.
Letters giving the new rates will be sent out in early March. To check your new business rates, go to www.voa.gov.uk