Newcastle-based property and rating consultancy Dunlop Heywood is calling for publicans to check the figure in light of the city’s introduction of a late-night levy on licensed premises, implemented on 1 November.
Licensees operating between midnight and 6.00am must pay the fee, but the amount depends on the rateable value of the premises and could range from £299 to £4,400 per year.
However, premises with an RV of under £12,000 may be eligible to receive a reduction and Dunlop Heywood has said that many licensed premises currently valued above this rate could successfully appeal to reduce the figure to below the threshold.
The appeal could also be backdated, which would allow licensees to claim thousands of pounds in overpaid business rates, according to the consultancy.
Licensed outlets currently pay business rates based on the RV of their premises on 1 April 2008.
Publicans could also appeal their rates on the grounds that property values and turnover have since plummeted, according to property experts.
Dunlop Heywood’s Adam Fitzpatrick said: “An appeal can be assessed and put into motion immediately. This is an important fact as the levy itself isn’t due for review until 2015.
“As a property’s RV reflects the rental value as of 1 April 2008 this creates a huge issue as the local economy and rental values have plummeted in the past five years. The new economic landscape does, however, mean an RV can be appealed on many levels, resulting in substantial savings on business rates and the new late-night levy in many cases.
“Appealing the RV not only reduces immediate and future costs but it could secure historic refunds on overpaid business rates. Gaining a reduction to an RV under £12,000 will also lead to exemption from the tax.”
Licensees could also appeal the RV of their premises on the grounds that their trade competes with large high-volume chains or near-by shops selling reduced-price alcohol, he added.
“Changes of circumstances in the locality, including significant public work, redevelopments or even the closure of neighbouring units all affect trade, creating another solid basis to dispute your RV,” Fitzpatrick said.