Trade group Licensed Victuallers (Wales) is launching a campaign for a complete review of the business rates system for pubs.
After winning mandatory rate relief for rural pubs in Wales last month, the association is now hoping to persuade the Valuation Office (VO) to exempt the UK's smallest pub businesses from paying rates. Under its proposals, pubs with a turnover of less than £150,000 would be exempt from paying business rates.
The shortfall would be made up by a slight increase for larger outlets. But because the rates system applies to all businesses, not just pubs, the association has calculated that the extra cost, spread over the whole of the UK's business sector, would be negligible.
Gareth John, executive officer at the association, now plans to meet with officials from the VO to discuss the changes in the run-up to the next rating review, due to start in March next year.
Mr John said he was hoping his recent victory for rural pubs in Wales would help persuade the office that many small pubs are struggling.
He added that he had already received a positive response from meetings with ratings officials.
"They have said they do have some sympathy with our arguments and they have agreed to look at it," said Mr John.
Rates for pubs are calculated on the basis of turnover, not square footage like other businesses. This, said Mr John, puts small pubs at a disadvantage against small shops or post offices.
Rate relief win for Wales (30 April 2002)