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Business rates revaluation 2017


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Following on from the Matabeau topic and its possible effect on the independent trader and local shopping scene.

(extracts from article)
Starbucks is to open its fourth coffee shop on one street - just 300 yards from an independent coffee shop set to be ‘bled dry’ by the business rates overhaul.
The coffee giant yesterday unveiled plans to open its fifteenth store in Cardiff, and its fourth along the city’s busy Queen Street – the most on any one street in Britain.
The four Starbucks shops will be just 350 yards apart, within a five minute walk of each other.
Yesterday Charlotte Barker, the owner of neighbouring Coffee Barker, condemned the announcement as an example of the Government’s failure to stick up for smaller traders in the face of punishing rate hikes.
Starbucks ran into a tax controversy in the UK in 2012 when it was accused of paying no tax on sales of £1.2bn in this country over the previous three years.
Mrs Barker said it was ‘heartbreaking’ that multi-national companies ‘seem to get away with murder in their tax bill’ while smaller businesses like hers are forced to the wall.
‘We are waiting to hear how big our rate rises will be. But it could tip people like us over the edge. The taxman already gets 20 per cent VAT, PAYE and income tax from us along with the rate rises.
‘I’m sure people look at my shop and think it is a dream to run that. But, believe me, it is an uphill battle every day and the Government are making it even more difficult for small traders.
Dr Eleri Rosier, a senior lecturer in marketing at Cardiff Business School, told how a number of vacant units and short-lived discount shops along the street is a symptom of high-rental costs.
She said: ‘They move in to quickly make their money and then leave. We have lots of empty units that can be really off-putting. Obviously seeing everything closed isn’t the most attractive.’
MPs fear independent shops be wiped out from Britain’s high streets under planned rate hikes from April. It is feared the larger, multi-national companies will stay because they can easily afford to stay open. 



I am sure we are going to hear a lot more of this from small businesses.

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What is meant by a ‘material change of circumstance’ (MCC)


Examples of the type of change within the locality that may be an MCC include:


* Road or streetworks which affect your property – closures; changes to road layout; pedestrianisation

* Building work or demolition nearby or the erection of scaffolding on a neighbouring property

* Damage to infrastructure caused by flooding

* An increase in the number of vacant properties in the vicinity

* Opening of a new development within the locality eg a supermarket or retail park which competes directly with existing business properties

* A change in the use of another property in the locality


I would have thought that most of these would apply to Hereford businesses.

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In the Guardian today:

Tuesday 21 February 2017
Beleaguered cabinet ministers are expected to take steps to ameliorate the impact on the companies hardest hit by a shake-up in business rates that has fueled a backlash among Conservative MPs.
There is also a suggestion that the government could agree to a wholesale review of the system, which levies the tax based on the size of property rather than a companies’ profits, in an attempt to stave off a backbench revolt. 
In the longer term, ministers are likely to attempt to end a loophole that means highly profitable internet companies, such as Amazon, will benefit from cuts while small independent businesses are badly hit.
Anna Soubry revealed that when she was business minister she had urged colleagues to reform the charge or even scrap it completely and raise the money via other means.
“Business rates are not fair because you have to pay them whether you are making money or not, and they don’t represent your [profit], just what building you are in,†she said. “You could be running a multi-million pound business from a relatively small building, but pay the same as a shop of the same size employing three people with hugely smaller turnover.â€
The Labour and co-op MP Gareth Thomas, who was pushing the minister on the issue, said it was “hugely disappointing†that the government rejected calls for a review and accused ministers of having a “tin ear†when it came to concerns. He called for business rate relief for both schools and hospitals warning they were already under “severe financial pressureâ€.


Bet they won't look at the council tax the small people pay. Remember band H in Hereford City £3284.41 against band H in Westminster £1337.62. Also all those living in bands C to G pay more in council tax in Herefordshire than those in Westmister.

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The difference in the council tax banding between us and Westminster is not really comparable, as Westminster has a higher population density than we do in Herefordshire, hence the lower figures. When you factor in the cost of housing in the borough, you can top £1200 a week for a bedsit. They do really need to look at the bandings for CT for inner London and the rest of the country.

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