Business rates woes on coast

Don Baker of CVS
Don Baker of CVS
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A business rates specialist has said figures show that firms are struggling to pay since the latest 2.6 per cent rise.

Don Baker, chairman of rating at CVS, 10 per cent of businesses in Blackpool failed to make their first business rates payment on time or at all.

He said firms have just had their first rates bill payment after the rise and there was clear evidence that businesses were in difficulty following ignorance of the issue in Government.

He said: “Businesses will have to continue managing increasing overheads including rates which are based on inflated 2008 rent levels in comparison to current rental levels in some areas.

“It is an issue that must be addressed with a reform of the rates appeals system.

“It is fair to say that businesses can expect a rise in their rates bills year on year for the foreseeable future.”

He added that the Government has ignored pleas and advice from businesses and official bodies such as the British Property Federation and pushed on to further increase, what is already one of their largest tax incomes.

“The combination of rent and rates bills following what, for many businesses has been a tough start to the year, threatens the viability of firms across the country.

“As result many offices, warehouses and shops stand empty.”

He said businesses in Blackpool can appeal to reduce their rates but the appeal process is too slow – taking at least 12 to 18 months.

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