The Government had previously announced a postponement of the 2021 Revaluation in May, to provide greater certainty for firms affected by the impacts of the pandemic but had not announced a date when the next revaluation would take place. It has also called for evidence for a wider review of the business rating system.
Jane Shankland, Business Rates Director, reacts to the announcement.
I would be very surprised if the Welsh Government does not follow suit. Whilst I welcome the decision to adopt April 2021 as the valuation date the fact that rates will continue to be based on pre-Covid property values for a further two years makes current business rates hopelessly out of date and will be a bitter pill for many struggling businesses to swallow.
A fairer solution would have been to postpone the Revaluation until April 2022 but based on April 2021 values so that the impact of the pandemic on the property market is reflected.
The UK Government’s stated aim is for more regular revaluations, at three-year intervals rather than every five years (in normal times), so it is disappointing to see a second successive revaluation postponement. We have been calling for more frequent revaluations for some time and this will be one of the principal issues raised in the response to the call for evidence.
Ratepayers also desperately need clarity on whether the existing package of rate relief that was brought in to aid our beleaguered retail, hospitality and leisure sector will continue for the 2021/22 financial year. Without this support the reality of continuing to pay rates based on pre-Covid property values will, I fear, be the final nail in the coffin for many more of our High Street businesses.
Contact the Business Rates department to find out what grants and reliefs are available to you.