Business rates

Think tank calls for sweeping reforms to local taxes

06/07/2020

A group of former Treasury special advisers have called for revaluation of the council tax and reform of  business rates to boost the economy post-COVID-19.

Jenrick announces more cash, income compensation and tax delay

02/07/2020

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick has announced more cash and new ways councils will be reimbursed for income lost as a result of coronavirus.

Business rates grant money could be clawed back, says IFS

14/06/2020

Central government funds given to councils to pay for grants and business rates waivers may have to be paid back if it is unspent, a finance think tank has claimed.

No bail outs for commercial investments

22/05/2020

Plans to bail out councils struggling with their finances could vary between authorities - but they will not cover commercial investments, The MJ understands.

Whitehall delays revaluation of business rates

06/05/2020

The Government has confirmed the planned revaluation of business rates will no longer take place next year due to coronavirus.

Districts win in latest allocations

28/04/2020

Districts have won a significantly higher share of funding in the latest allocations of government cash to help councils cope with coronavirus.

Jenrick moves to ease cash flow pressures

16/04/2020

New measures to help ease immediate financial pressures faced by councils in England due to the coronavirus outbreak have been announced by the Government.

A tipping point for town centres?

16/04/2020

Nigel Wilcock warns that many town centre businesses are now probably terminally damaged – and genuine change will be essential.

Budget 2020: Sunak reveals spending spree for first budget

11/03/2020

New chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a Budget to end austerity, boost productivity and tackle the problems created by coronavirus.  

Government announces financial support for flood-hit areas

19/02/2020

The Government has announced councils in areas affected by recent flooding will receive grants to cover the cost of council tax and business rates reliefs.

Cuts force most councils to increase council tax and charges

05/02/2020

The majority of councils are planning on raising council tax and charging for services in 2020/21 in order to make ends meet, new research has revealed.

Court finds in favour of museum in ‘landmark’ business rates case

17/01/2020

A long-running battle over how museums are valued for business rates has come to an end with a court ruling that they should be valued based on net income.

Councils losing £250m a year through business rates avoidance

17/01/2020

Councils are losing £250m a year due to businesses avoiding paying their rates, new research has found.

NHS business rates claim rejected by High Court

12/12/2019

Councils have successfully defended a claim for billions of pounds of tax relief for NHS trusts.

Challenging rateable values

10/12/2019

Roger Messenger calls on councils to assess their entire property portfolio and identify every business rate exemption or relief they may be entitled to.

Johnson pledges business rates cut to disadvantaged areas

15/11/2019

The prime minister has pledged to help ‘left behind’ communities by cutting business rates if they win the General Election.

Reform ‘broken’ business rates system, retailers say

12/11/2019

Retailers are urging the next Government to reform the business rates system, which they argue penalises the retail sector by over £1bn every five years.

Retail, High Streets and Business Rates

07/11/2019

John Orchard argues the time has come to ignore the hyperbole surrounding business rates.

Business rates reforms will only help richest authorities, report finds

06/11/2019

Two-thirds of councils will see their income fall in real terms by 2025 due business rates reforms, research has found today.

MPs slam 'broken' business rates system

31/10/2019

MPs have urged the Government to reform the 'broken' business rates system and consider alternatives in time for the Spring Statement 2020.

Small businesses call for ‘radical’ business rates reform

21/10/2019

Representatives of small businesses have written to the chancellor calling on him to introduce business rates reform to help struggling firms.

Ombudsman criticises councils for how they chased historic business rate debts

17/10/2019

Two London councils have been criticised by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman for the way they tried to recover historic business rate debts.

Chanceller urged to scrap inflationary business rate rise

17/10/2019

The chancellor has been urged to scrap an increase in business rates in the Autumn Budget, following warnings it will add more than £536m to the business rates burden.

Thomas Cook collapse could cost councils £12m a year

24/09/2019

The collapse of Thomas Cook could see councils lose around £12m a year in business rates, new estimates have suggested.

Full-fibre and 5G could boost council revenue by £10,000

13/09/2019

Investing in full-fibre and 5G could increase a local authority’s revenue intake by £10,000, new research suggests.

Local government faces £25bn funding shortfall by 2025

09/09/2019

Local councils will face a £25bn funding gap by 2025 as funding reforms will shrink grants to almost zero, a new report has argued.

Fair Funding Review delayed until next year

05/09/2019

The Fair Funding Review and 75% business rate retention will be delayed until 2020-21.

High street retailers call for reform of ‘broken’ business rates

13/08/2019

Over 50 high street retailers have signed a letter calling on Chancellor Sajid Javid to reform the business rates system.

Councils accused of ‘criminalising’ businesses over rates arrears

05/08/2019

Local authorities are ‘criminalising’ struggling businesses such as pubs and shops by taking them to court over non-payment of business rates, a real estate advisor claims.

Plans to hike business rates in the West Midlands dropped

24/07/2019

Businesses in the West Midlands will breath a sigh of relief after an announcement that a planned business rate hike is unlikely to go ahead.

Court date set for councils' £2bn tax dispute with NHS trusts

08/07/2019

A court date has been set for the long-running legal dispute between councils and NHS trusts over rates relief.

Sunak brings forward revaluation of business rates

13/06/2019

Business rates will reflect property values more accurately after a shake-up being introduced in new legislation.

Mayor calls for creation of 'free trade zones' in city centres

05/06/2019

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has called for a 'wholesale review' of the business rates system to save struggling high streets.

Government pays £15m to councils after business rate 'error'

03/06/2019

The Government may have to pay out up to £15m to councils after it made yet another error in its business rate pilot administration.

British Steel’s financial troubles could cost councils nearly £3m

22/05/2019

Local authorities could lose £2.8m in business rates should British Steel go into administration, a real estate company has calculated.

Debenhams’ CVA to cost councils £8.5m in rates

13/05/2019

Local authorities are set to lose millions of pounds worth of business rates due to Debenhams financial difficulties, ratings experts say.

Over 1,500 pubs close since controversial business rates revaluation

23/04/2019

Hundreds of local pubs closed down last year due to a ‘myriad of cost pressures’, new research reveals.

Business rates appeals will cost councils over £1bn

01/03/2019

Councils in England predict that business rates appeal will cost them £1.1bn in 2019/20, new figures have revealed.

Business rates ‘shakeup’ must be properly managed, warn experts

28/02/2019

Finance experts have called on the Government to explain how changes to the business rates retention system next year will work.

Counties call for full baseline reset of business rates in 2020

22/02/2019

County councillors have called for a review of the business rates system including the tax paid by large retailers.

MPs pile pressure on Government over business rates reform

21/02/2019

MPs have urged ministers to assess specific proposals for reforming business rates by the autumn.

Council revenues unlikely to ‘keep pace’ with demand on services

20/12/2018

Revenues from business rates and council tax will not keep pace with rising costs and demands for services, financial experts have warned.

Councils losing millions through tax loophole

07/11/2018

A loophole that could be costing English local authorities millions in lost council tax is to be reviewed by ministers.

The changing shape of the local government finance system

01/11/2018

Aileen Murphie explores how local government finance has changed since 2010 and what challenges councils face leading up to 2020.

Budget 2018: Google and Amazon to be hit by new tax

29/10/2018

A new UK digital services tax aimed at giants such as Google and Amazon will be narrowly targeted on UK-generated revenues from April 2020.

Liverpool mayor calls for ‘fair funding formula’ for councils

29/10/2018

The mayor of Liverpool has called for a Royal Commission to ensure a ‘fair funding formula’ for local council services.

Budget 2018: Cash for care could be swallowed up by rates relief

28/10/2018

Chancellor Phillip Hammond is expected to announce nearly a billion pounds for social care in an austerity-busting budget later today.

London’s councils awarded £47m funding boost for digital infrastructure

09/10/2018

London’s growth in business rates will be used to fund eight projects to improve the capital’s digital infrastructure.

Is the declining high street a final nail in the coffin of local government services?

03/10/2018

Nigel Wilcock, executive director of the Institute of Economic Development, explores the link between the declining high street and local services.

Khan announces projects to benefit from £112m business rates fund

27/09/2018

The mayor of London has unveiled the first projects to benefit from a £112m investment fund which has been generated from the growth of business rate receipts.

Business rate discounts should drive adoption of Living Wage

14/09/2018

A union has called on London boroughs to follow Brent Council by developing a business rate scheme which incentivises employers to pay a living wage.

Councils sending bailiffs to 200 firms every day over unpaid business rates

28/08/2018

Councils are sending bailiffs to more than 200 businesses every day due to unpaid rates, a new investigation has revealed.

More councils urged to take part in business rates pilots

25/07/2018

Councils are being asked to apply for powers to retain 75% of the growth in income raised through business rates.

Councils sue one in six businesses over rate arrears figures reveal

13/07/2018

Nearly 190,000 companies were taken to court last year by councils over non-payment of business rates, a new investigation has revealed.

Call for business rates to be scrapped

04/07/2018

Business rates should be scrapped and local authorities should be handed a swathe of new powers to revitalise struggling town centres, a major new review has urged.

Council chiefs warn of business rates appeals ‘risk’

13/06/2018

Council leaders have called on Whitehall to protect them against the risk of business rates appeals as figures reveal over 100,000 cases remain unresolved.

Business rates retention should not replace grants for councils, MPs say

24/04/2018

The further retention of business rates should be an extra source of funding for local authorities squeezed by Whitehall cuts and not a replacement for existing grants, MPs say.

Placing faith in the pilots

19/04/2018

From this month, a second wave of pilots have started 100% rates retention. Neil Amin-Smith and David Phillips from the Institute for Fiscal Studies examine the Government’s claims regarding these pilots.

Councils should not pick up costs of reversing ‘staircase tax’ warn MPs

18/04/2018

Councils should not be financially worse off if the Government decides to reverse the controversial ‘staircase tax’, MPs have warned today.

Business rate pilot councils could see £870m cash boost says think tank

12/04/2018

Local authorities are missing out on millions of pounds because of an £870m cash boost to business rate pilot councils, according to a study today from the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) think-tank.

Charity shops face business rates relief ‘postcode lottery’

09/04/2018

Charity shops are ‘falling victim’ to inconsistent and unfair policies on business rates relief and waste management, charity representatives say.

IFS implores action over growing social care funding chasm

20/03/2018

The Government will need to scrap its funding reforms, significantly boost top-ups or centralise care if it is to plug the social care funding gap, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned today.

Javid orders review after second council payment error

20/03/2018

The Government has ordered a review after being forced to admit a second mistake in as many months in the way it calculates council payments.

The long road to rates retention

19/03/2018

Why has the move towards 100% retention of business rates been so slow? Neil Merrick investigates.

Hammond offers little respite for council finances

13/03/2018

Council finances were offered little respite in chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Statement today.

Business rates retention unlikely to deliver growth, financial experts say

01/03/2018

Business rates retention will lead to divergences in funding for English councils without necessarily delivering the expected growth, think tank argues.

The extent of business rates relief fraud

16/02/2018

It is estimated that there could be over £25m worth of fraud being perpetuated by businesses falsely claiming Small Business Rates Relief across England.

£140m investment ‘fantastic’ example of devolution in action, Khan says

15/02/2018

The mayor of London has announced a £140m investment boost to help fight the capital’s housing crisis and improve the economy.

Stormont criticised for proposal to cut £20m in rates support

30/01/2018

Northern Ireland local authority chiefs have criticised as ‘anti-investment’ a proposal to cut nearly £20m of support from Stormont.

‘Staircase tax’ could impact council finances, committee chair warns

24/01/2018

The Government’s plans to re-introduce the so-called ‘staircase tax’ could have a detrimental impact on local government finances, committee chair warns.

Government is misguided on business rates, London Councils warns

17/01/2018

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) belief that councils do not want 100% business rates retention is misguided, London Councils has warned.

Devolution - have the wheels fallen off the wagon?

17/01/2018

With the news that no new devolution deals were agreed last year, Mark Whitehead explores why the policy seems to have come to a grinding halt.

Revaluation of rates leading to councils referring 41,000 businesses to bailiffs

10/01/2018

Councils have referred an estimated 41,000 businesses to bailiffs over unpaid business rates, new research has revealed.

Federation criticises 46 councils for lack of progress on business rates relief

12/12/2017

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on councils which have still not passed on government money to help firms hit by hikes in business rates to do so before Christmas.

Watchdog calls for more transparency over non-domestic rates distribution

08/12/2017

The Scottish Government must be more transparent in the way it reports on its non-domestic (business) rates, the official financial watchdog has warned.

Budget 2017: Council chiefs warn against ‘devolution deadlock’

23/11/2017

Local government leaders today warned of the dangers of ‘devolution deadlock’ in their response to the Autumn Budget.

Budget 2017: Devolution and housing key planks in speech

22/11/2017

Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Budget has seen the chancellor unveil a raft of new devolution deals, measures to boost housing and changes to resolve issues with controversial Universal Credit.

Six in ten councils make progress on business rates relief

15/11/2017

More than 200 councils have now reissued business rates bills in accordance with the Government’s discretionary relief package, latest figures have shown.

100% of business rates retention could leave counties ‘worse off’, analysis shows

29/09/2017

County council leaders have warned the Government about the risks of 100% retention of business rates as a new analysis reveals the policy could ‘worsen the financial plight’ of county authorities.

Government 'fully committed' to rates retention

18/09/2017

The Government is 'fully committed to proceeding with’ business rates retention, according to local government minister Marcus Jones.

Councils to be ‘named and shamed’ for not passing on business rates relief

15/09/2017

Councils that fail to get business rates relief schemes in place by the beginning of next month could be named and shamed by the Government.

Councillor hits out at Javid’s ‘prevarication’ on council finances

08/09/2017

A Basildon councillor has waited over two months for a response from Sajid Javid to a letter he wrote concerning the future of council finances.

Councils urged to apply for new business rates pilots

01/09/2017

Local authorities in England have been invited to participate in a second round of 100% business rates retention pilots as pools across economic areas.

Councils ‘sitting on’ £31m of discretionary funds meant for pubs, retailers say

14/08/2017

Millions of pounds of business rates relief promised in the spring budget earlier this year has still not been forwarded to pubs, according to new research.

Campaigners call for more business rates relief for pubs

07/08/2017

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has called on the Government to help local pubs by cutting their business rate bills.

Councils hit out at 'shambolic' delays in business rates relief

24/07/2017

Councils have hit back at claims over 'shambolic' delays in handing out Government cash to help small firms cope with business rate rises.

Counties call for 'new deal' from Government

19/07/2017

County councils in England have called for a ‘new deal’ during the current Parliament, including devolved powers akin to those held by Britain’s major cities.

Small firms call for end to ‘shambolic delay’ in business rates grants

07/07/2017

Small firms have urged the Government to make councils speed up giving out grants to help cope with big increases in business rates.

Porter: Abolish council tax referendums

04/07/2017

Referendums on council tax limits should be abolished in order to secure the financial sustainability of councils, Lord Porter will argue later today.

Queen's speech fails to mention reforms to local government finance

21/06/2017

The Local Government Finance Bill has been dropped from the legislative programme, leaving plans for business rates retention in limbo.

Rise in business rates will threaten nurseries, warns committee

21/06/2017

A Scottish parliamentary committee will write to local authorities and the Scottish Government about pressure childcare organisations are facing over increased business rates.

Council chiefs call on all parties to adopt ten-point plan

05/05/2017

Local government leaders have called on all political parties to adopt its 10-point plan to boost local services and drive economic growth.

General Election could delay reform of local government finance

20/04/2017

Plans to roll out 100% business rates retention from April 2019 have been thrown into the air by the calling of the General Election.

Local taxes in Scotland should be fully devolved, think tank argues

10/04/2017

Council tax and business rates in Scotland should be devolved in full to local authorities, think tank says.

Councils urged to distribute £300m business rate relief fund

03/04/2017

Councils are being urged to distribute the funding to help businesses affected by the increase in rates as ‘speedily and fairly’ as possible.

Devolution of business rates should benefit local communities, councillors say

29/03/2017

Extra money raised under policy of giving councils complete control over business rates should be used to plug gaps in spending on services, councils demand.

Business rates relief does ‘little to ease the pain’, council warns

09/03/2017

The chancellor’s plans to allocate a nearly half billion pound package to ease the burden of a business rates revaluation does ‘little to ease the pain’, London council says.

Budget 2017: Hammond announces £435m business rate package

08/03/2017

Local authorities will be able to access a £300m fund in order to ease business rate revaluation challenges in their local areas, chancellor Philip Hammond has announced.

Budget 2017: What should councils look out for?

07/03/2017

Chancellor Philip Hammond has already dismissed announcing a ‘spending spree’ in his budget speech tomorrow, but what should local government watch out for?

Councils 'increasingly dependent' on business rates from London

06/03/2017

London councils’ business rate tariffs are set to rise by £400m a year to £730m, to top up income elsewhere, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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