Sign the e-petition on Empty Property Rates

September 07, 2011 10:30 AM

Back in April the TPA released a briefing note on Empty Property Rates. Since April, nearly all businesses have to pay full business rates on an empty commercial property just three months after it becomes vacant, and six months later for an industrial property.

As reported in yesterday's Financial Times (£) The British Chambers of Commerce has written a letter to the Chancellor saying that the tax could have "perverse consequences" and that reversing it will help business confidence.

Originally, Business Rates were waived for three months and charged at 50 per cent thereafter. Industrial properties were fully exempt.

In the 2007 Budget the then Chancellor Gordon Brown announced this was to be scrapped as part of the Rating (Empty Properties) Act 2007. Non-industrial property would be exempt from business rates for three months and industrial property for six months. After that time business owners returned to paying full rates.

However, during the economic crisis the Chancellor (Alistair Darling) announced a brief respite for some ratepayers from the new legislation in the 2008 Pre-Budget Report. Properties under a Rateable Value of £15,000 would be exempt for the 2009-10 financial year. This was extended for the 2010-11 financial year and the threshold was lifted to £18,000, intended to help small businesses during the downturn.

But since April 2011, the Rating (Empty Properties) Act 2007 applies for properties over a Rateable Value of £2,600.

There is an e-petition on the Government website that wants the rateable value to return to £18,000. It was started by the Business Centre Association and is backed by many groups, including us here at the TPA. You can sign the petition here.

It's important to let the Government know that they won't help the recovery or drive growth by taxing business failure. They need to reduce the burden so that businesses and entrepreneurs can find their feet again as quickly as possible. As well as killing business confidence, there's a real risk landlords will simply demolish properties as the rates are too stringent, which depletes the overall capital stock.  On top of all that, small commercial units are often a means of income for retired people who don't have savings or a pension, and this tax are choking that off too.

Many members of the Government aggressively fought against this policy in opposition - it was called "wicked and ungodly" at one point - and they should regain some of that zeal and announce a reversal in the Autumn.

Sign the petition and help push for this change.Back in April the TPA released a briefing note on Empty Property Rates. Since April, nearly all businesses have to pay full business rates on an empty commercial property just three months after it becomes vacant, and six months later for an industrial property.

As reported in yesterday's Financial Times (£) The British Chambers of Commerce has written a letter to the Chancellor saying that the tax could have "perverse consequences" and that reversing it will help business confidence.

Originally, Business Rates were waived for three months and charged at 50 per cent thereafter. Industrial properties were fully exempt.

In the 2007 Budget the then Chancellor Gordon Brown announced this was to be scrapped as part of the Rating (Empty Properties) Act 2007. Non-industrial property would be exempt from business rates for three months and industrial property for six months. After that time business owners returned to paying full rates.

However, during the economic crisis the Chancellor (Alistair Darling) announced a brief respite for some ratepayers from the new legislation in the 2008 Pre-Budget Report. Properties under a Rateable Value of £15,000 would be exempt for the 2009-10 financial year. This was extended for the 2010-11 financial year and the threshold was lifted to £18,000, intended to help small businesses during the downturn.

But since April 2011, the Rating (Empty Properties) Act 2007 applies for properties over a Rateable Value of £2,600.

There is an e-petition on the Government website that wants the rateable value to return to £18,000. It was started by the Business Centre Association and is backed by many groups, including us here at the TPA. You can sign the petition here.

It's important to let the Government know that they won't help the recovery or drive growth by taxing business failure. They need to reduce the burden so that businesses and entrepreneurs can find their feet again as quickly as possible. As well as killing business confidence, there's a real risk landlords will simply demolish properties as the rates are too stringent, which depletes the overall capital stock.  On top of all that, small commercial units are often a means of income for retired people who don't have savings or a pension, and this tax are choking that off too.

Many members of the Government aggressively fought against this policy in opposition - it was called "wicked and ungodly" at one point - and they should regain some of that zeal and announce a reversal in the Autumn.

Sign the petition and help push for this change.

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