Business rates for agents ‘still not right’, says trade body

Propertymark welcomes changes to business rates, but urges the Government to go further and introduce yearly valuations.

nathan emerson business rates

Trade body Propertymark has urged the Government to do more to help estate agents and improve business rates further.

Changes to business rates were announced last week, with a new bill the Government said would “modernise” the system.

The Non-Domestic Rating Bill will introduce more frequent valuations, to take place every three years instead of the current five, meaning businesses with falling values will see their bills drop sooner.

It will also provide new business rates improvement relief, so businesses making qualifying building improvements will not face higher business rates bills for 12 months.

This will make it easier for businesses to invest with new reliefs for property improvements, the Government says, providing tax breaks for businesses who are extending or upgrading their property.

More frequent

Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, told The Neg: “We are pleased to see that reforms are being made to the business rates system as more revaluations will ensure that rates are kept fair and accurate.

“However, a more frequent, annual revaluation such as that being used in the Netherlands in their national and collaborative model, where ratepayers and taxpayers are seen as part of the process, would even further reduce administration and generate a Government saving of an estimated £56 million a year.”

Melanie Leech, CEO, British Property Federation

Melanie Leech, CEO at the British Property Federation, said: “A move from five to three yearly revaluations is a marked improvement, and we would like to see Government continuing to strive towards even more frequent revaluations in due course.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt froze the business rates ‘multipliers’ at 49.9p (small business) and 51.2p (standard size business) in his Autumn Statement.

He also introduced a relief scheme to ensure no small business faces a bill increase greater than £50 per month for 2023-24 after losing eligibility for rate relief.

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