Licensee's anger at business rates calculation

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Business rates Mathematics Calculation Business rates in england and wales

Licensee's anger at business rates calculation
A pub operator has accused the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) of penalising him for doing well after his business rates bill rocketed from £12,000 per annum to £40,000.

Roberto Zeolla of the Chequers in Harlow, Essex, believes that it is “unfair” how the VOA now calculates rateable values (RVs) on turnover and does not take into account net profit.

His RV rose from £27,500 to £89,500. This differs from the rates payable because the local council will multiply the RV with a multiplier set by the Government.

Zeolla took over the freehold of the closed village pub in 2000 and has doubled turnover by  increasing the number of diners the pub caters for, offering Italian food and working hard to build a reputation for the destination venue.

He cannot claim rate relief because his turnover is too high.

Zeolla said: “I give good value and service, as I understand times are hard for people. I employ about 20 staff and most have been with me for more than five years.

“It’s hard to believe I used to pay £12,000 per annum and now I have to pay £40,000. This is an unbelievable jump. I am finding it difficult to pay as business has gone down since 2008 and all costs have gone up.

“I don’t mind paying my fair share, but I would like the VOA to calculate business rates the way they used to — on the premises’ square footage and the rent. With the rates this high, eventually we are not going to be able to afford it.

“We have worked very hard to get the customers we have. They all have to drive out here and if we increase the prices, I’m not sure they will make the effort.”

■ Have you experienced  similar problems with your business rates? If so, email gurjit.degun@wrbm.com

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