Community pubs minister Brandon Lewis announced the delay in October, and his comments were met with dismay from the trade. It is expected that thousands of pubs are at risk as many believed that they were set for lower rates after tough trading and the impact of the recession. The current rates are based on 2008 figures.
If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the issue will have to be debated in the House. It currently has 670 signatures.
Colliers International’s national head of rating John Webber said: “Struggling businesses have been eagerly awaiting the 2015 revaluation as a relief from high rates bills. Having it deferred until 2017 simply means that any decreases in their bills or chance of clawing much needed money back from the Government will have to be deferred.
“At a time when businesses need all the support they can get from Government, this is just another slap in the face. And while the Government is stating that it won’t increase rate bills more than inflation, postposing the revaluation means many businesses are being denied decreases in real terms.
“For some ailing high streets, this really could be the final nail in the coffin. This is why we are urging the Government to rethink its proposal and in doing so help to save our high streets.”
Colliers International has also been lobbying local councillors and MPs to vote against the proposal. “This is not a fait accompli,” added Webber. “With enough support and backing from business we can get the Government to scrap its plan to postpone the 2015 rating revaluation.”