Jerry Schurder of Gerald Eve, like many rating practitioners, has been pressing now for some time for reform of business rates. This tax (which goes to central government) has been creeping up for may years and has been seen by many in the industry as outdated, both in application and design) keeps being put on the back-burner for reform. In his latest post, Jerry points out an average increase that will hit small retail businesses in April. Yet another stealth tax increase?
...(T)he Uniform Business Rate will increase next year by 0.9% in line with last September’s Retail Prices Index. Of greater concern to over 200,000 businesses is that the retail discount, providing a £1,500 cut to the rates bills for retail and food and drink establishments with Rateable Values no greater than £50,000, is to be discontinued from April 2016. On average, their rates will therefore increase by 17.2% next April