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Viewpoint - 13/04/2013

Rating in Brief: spring 2013

We expected the Chancellor, in his recent Budget, to announce action on business rates.

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Yet his silence speaks of a government prepared to grandstand on Corporation Tax rather than solve a complex property tax problem. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, may offer our next hope of reform.

In other news, courts are increasingly supporting the rights of landlords and occupiers to avoid Empty Property Rate (EPR). This is welcomed. The bad news is that the Autumn Statement’s EPR exemption for new property developments appears too limited to be effective.

You can download Rating in Brief, or read the articles online:

Chancellor grandstands as enterprise falters

Now that the dust has settled on a Budget that was more political survival than economic revival, we are disappointed the Chancellor ducked the important issue of business rates reform.

Empty rates avoidance: courts side with business

The trickle of case law precedent which underpins the rights of landlords and occupiers to avoid, in certain circumstances, the despised EPR liability, is in danger of turning into a flood.

Funding responsibility makes councils nervous

Localism Act 2011 creates an even greater reliance on major local enterprise.

Business rates revaluation postponement: winners and losers

The decision to postpone the 2015 revaluation emphasises how our taxation system is comfortable penalising businesses that are most in need.

Will the EPR exemption stimulate development?

Unoccupied new build properties which enter the rating list between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016 will be exempt from business rates for up to 18 months.

End of the line for RPI?

David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, has made it clear that the government seeks a more consistent measure of inflation across all policy areas.

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