Advertising tax

April 04, 2011 4:20 PM

As if life isn’t difficult enough for small businesses in these tough economic times than Bath & North East Somerset council want to add an extra burden. Like some window-taxing Georgians, the council thought it would be a good idea to charge shopkeepers for using A-boards to advertise their businesses.

The justification for this was that A-boards can sometimes ‘cause a hazard for blind and older people’ and that the council ‘does not at present have a satisfactory system for telling businesses what is acceptable.’ So, the best answer to this is to charge local businesses £100 a year for an A-board licence. Unsurprisingly, local shopkeepers have not been impressed.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Careful now"][/caption]

‘I think the council is just trying to use health and safety laws to generate extra revenue,’ said one perceptively. ‘These boards are valuable tools for business,’ added a deli owner. ‘I am constantly changing the information on mine. This law will affect small businesses more than anyone else.’

It is interesting to note also that because Bath is a heritage site, there are tough council-enforced rules already banning shops from putting advertising in their windows, so shopkeepers have little other alternative but to use A-boards.

‘This is a tax on the advertising we have used for years,’ said a glass-shop owner, contrasting her advertising with the multi-million pound expenditure of chain shops. ‘The small amount of marketing we have helps our business and small businesses are a tourists attraction for the city.’ Quite right, and I thought B&NES were currently spending our money on devising ways to attract more business to our streets. I think one department needs to talk to another inside Bath town hall…

Tim Newark, Bath & South-West TaxPayers' AllianceAs if life isn’t difficult enough for small businesses in these tough economic times than Bath & North East Somerset council want to add an extra burden. Like some window-taxing Georgians, the council thought it would be a good idea to charge shopkeepers for using A-boards to advertise their businesses.

The justification for this was that A-boards can sometimes ‘cause a hazard for blind and older people’ and that the council ‘does not at present have a satisfactory system for telling businesses what is acceptable.’ So, the best answer to this is to charge local businesses £100 a year for an A-board licence. Unsurprisingly, local shopkeepers have not been impressed.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Careful now"][/caption]

‘I think the council is just trying to use health and safety laws to generate extra revenue,’ said one perceptively. ‘These boards are valuable tools for business,’ added a deli owner. ‘I am constantly changing the information on mine. This law will affect small businesses more than anyone else.’

It is interesting to note also that because Bath is a heritage site, there are tough council-enforced rules already banning shops from putting advertising in their windows, so shopkeepers have little other alternative but to use A-boards.

‘This is a tax on the advertising we have used for years,’ said a glass-shop owner, contrasting her advertising with the multi-million pound expenditure of chain shops. ‘The small amount of marketing we have helps our business and small businesses are a tourists attraction for the city.’ Quite right, and I thought B&NES were currently spending our money on devising ways to attract more business to our streets. I think one department needs to talk to another inside Bath town hall…

Tim Newark, Bath & South-West TaxPayers' Alliance

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