MPs calling for fairer pub business rates for pubs need to clear in demands

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Business rates in england and wales Need Want

Politicians looking to improve pub business rates must make it clear what they are asking the Government for, according to business rates specialist Michael Yass, director at Chesterton Humberts.

His comments come after the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​ revealed that MPs Tessa Munt and David Morris are pushing for a bill and a debate in Parliament, respectively, for fairer business rates for pubs.

Yass said: “I think that they need to be completely clear about whether they want the Government to consider changes to the method or frequency with which rateable values (RV) of properties are calculated, or if they want to argue for a greater level of relief in the amount of rate liability paid by small businesses.”

He also said that the MPs must be aware that the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) follows the way in which the market values pubs when assessing RV.

So if they want to consider a change in the way the VOA assess the RVs of pubs, they would also have to consider a change in the way they are valued in the open market.

The VOA uses the fair maintainable trade (FMT) valuation method to calculate the RV of pubs. It is guided by actual market rents and turnover figures from pubs to arrive at FMT.

Yass explained that he would like to see the Government giving licensees a helping hand by offering more rate relief.

However, he went on to say “there are only limited funds available in the current climate”.

Yass added that in the past three years he has seen fewer councils offering discretionary rate relief, which is having an impact on licensees. This is where the local authority decides whether a business should have more relief than the mandatory levels set by central Government.

However, this additional relief comes out of the pocket of the council, whereas any relief dictated by the Government is reimbursed to the council.

Related topics Property law

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