Business rates bills

The government has confirmed that 60% of business rates will fall next year as a result of revaluation and that it will not collect a penny more of extra revenue as a result of the 2010 revaluation, which is carried out every five years. However, rates bills for some businesses will rise significantly.

The government recently announced that it will remove the requirement to re-apply for small business rate relief, which can reduce business rates by up to 50%, at revaluation, reducing bureaucracy for small businesses and billing authorities. John Cridland, CBI Deputy Director-General, said: “We're concerned by the government's announcement on business rates today. Although business rates will fall overall, in some areas of the country they will rise sharply, which is worrying at this critical time for the economy. We called for the government to cap business rate increases at lower levels than those announced today. For example, we called for a maximum rise of 7.5% for larger properties, but the government has announced a maximum rise of 12.5%. This is worrying. We're particularly concerned about the potential for sharp rises in business rates in London, where properties were revalued near the height of the market. Given the economic situation, a significant rise in business rates could make a critical difference to companies trying to survive the recession.”