Colliers International calls for business to back rating revaluation petition

Colliers International has launched an online petition to stop the Government’s planned postponement of the 2015 business rates revaluation.

The property firm has started the e-petition on the Government website www.direct.gov.uk and is urging businesses in the West Midlands to show their support by adding their names to the list. If the petition receives 100,000 signatures it will be considered for debate in the House of Commons.

The proposal to delay the 2015 rating revaluation until 2017 is one of a number of measures being put forward by the Government as part of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill.

If implemented, businesses will continue to pay business rates based on property values in 2008, instead of current values, which are considerably less. For the retail sector in particular this could have a devastating impact.

According to research by Colliers International, many retail centres in towns and cities across the UK have seen significant falls in rental value since 2008, with some of the worst hit regions falling by as much as 27 per cent. The West Midlands fell by 23 per cent. London’s West End was the only retail area to see rental values increase, rising by 26 per cent, over the same period.

John Webber, Colliers International’s Birmingham-based national head of rating, said: “Struggling businesses have been eagerly awaiting the 2015 revaluation as a relief from high rates bills.  Having it deferred until 2017 simply means that any decreases in their bills or chance of clawing much needed money back from the Government will have to be deferred.

“At a time when businesses need all the support they can get from Government, this is just another slap in the face. And while it is stating that it won’t increase rate bills more than inflation, postposing the revaluation means many businesses are being denied decreases in real terms.

“For some ailing High Streets, this really could be the final nail in the coffin. This is why we are urging the Government to rethink its proposal and in doing so help to save our High Streets.”

Since the announcement to postpone the rating revaluation was made by Brandon Lewis MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Colliers International has been lobbying local councillors and MPs to vote against the proposal.

“This is not a fait accompli,” said Mr Webber. “With enough support and backing from business we can get the Government to scrap its plan to postpone the 2015 rating revaluation.”

To sign the e-petition, go to http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/41598

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