An ongoing Government consultation into 2017 business rates revaluation has been labelled "potentially disastrous" for pubs by the ALMR.
Many ratepayers will see only a small change in their rates bill at the revaluation, but some properties will see a "more significant change – both increases and reductions", the consultation states.
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Potential bill increases
The ALMR welcomes a "long overdue" revaluation, which will see a reduction in the multiplier for some.
But many venues are likely to see an increase. ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “We are concerned though that the proposals will still result in increased rates bills for businesses with eating and drinking-out venues still bearing a disproportionate burden.”
The ALMR’s chief concern is a proposed cap on increases of 5% only applying to the smallest businesses, with larger companies facing either a 35% of 45% increase limit. There will also be a cap on the reduction for businesses that see their rates fall.
“It is still likely that one in four businesses will see their rates increase. At such a politically and economically unstable time, such a move could be potentially disastrous for businesses,” Nicholls said.
Plea to reconsider
She added: “With businesses relying on transitional relief, we are urging the Government to reconsider introducing high street rate relief to ensure that bills are equitable and affordable.”
Ratepayers facing increases, who will be in sectors and locations where rateable values have increased more than the average, will see their bill capped each year at a set percentage increase due to the revaluation, the consultation explains.
Transitional arrangements will allow time to adjust to their new rates bills, but there is only a six-month period for businesses to prepare for increases.
As with the 2010 transitional arrangements, the caps on increases and reductions will be calculated before the large property and London supplements.
Changes in business rate bills for reasons unconnected to the revaluation, such as changes to the property or other reliefs, are also outside of the transitional arrangements.