Business rates | LocalGov

Levelling up requires ‘meaningful’ devolution, business group says

20/02/2024

Business leaders have called for ‘meaningful decision-making powers’ to be devolved to local authorities to help boost left-behind regions.

Council referrals to bailiffs up 20%

24/01/2024

Referrals to bailiffs in England and Wales to recover council debts have risen by nearly 20%, a BBC investigation has found.

Call to end £250m business rate loophole

11/01/2024

A campaign to end a loophole which is estimated could cost councils a massive £250m in lost business rates revenue has been backed by senior politicians.

‘Growth zones’ for West Midlands in UK first

22/12/2023

The West Midlands is to become the first UK region to receive new ‘growth zone’ powers, which the combined authority said could generate £1.7bn.

Autumn Statement: Business rates measures to be fully funded

22/11/2023

Plans to extend business rates relief will be fully funded for local authorities, the small print of the Autumn Statement has confirmed.

Land value tax could redistribute billions

09/11/2023

A plan to reform business rates could lead to billions of pounds being redistributed from high land value areas to other parts of the country.

Oflog moves to expand remit

30/10/2023

The new Office for Local Government (Oflog) watchdog has proposed to widen its scope to five new service areas.

‘Candy store’ numbers drop as council crackdown continues

04/10/2023

Westminster City Council has seen some success in its clampdown on Oxford Street's US-style ‘candy stores’, with the number dropping to 21 from 29.

Tired of empty shops? It’s time to ban box shifting

29/09/2023

Sian Berry AM, Green London Assembly Member and Camden councillor, calls for an end to the use of the tax evasion technique known as ‘box shifting’.

Call for pubs minister

28/09/2023

The Government should offer pubs tax rebates and appoint a minister responsible for a long term-strategy for the sector, report by think-tank Localis argues.

‘Box shifting’ loophole costing councils £250m a year

26/09/2023

Councils in England could save £250m annually if a legal loophole that enables landlords to avoid business rates was closed, campaigners say.

Pubs 'vanishing' at alarming rate as closures jump 50%

18/09/2023

The number of pubs that have been demolished or converted into other types of use has risen dramatically, with over 380 ‘vanishing’ this year.

Councils need ‘cohesive plan’ after loss of 6,000 stores

28/07/2023

British Retail Consortium found that Britain lost 6,000 shops in five years and warned that councils must make a ‘cohesive plan’ to revive shopping areas.

Government heads off business rates review

21/07/2023

A bid to secure a review of business rates in the House of Lords has failed.

Councils call for more radical thinking on short-term lets

20/06/2023

Whitehall proposals to regulate short-term holiday lets fail to deliver what is needed to tackle housing shortages and ministers should think ‘more radically,’ councils have said.

Westminster council takes on tax avoiding candy stores

25/05/2023

Westminster City Council has declared war on US-style candy and souvenir stores that are failing to pay business rates or selling illegal or unsafe goods.

Urban councils call for redistributive funding model

02/05/2023

A network of urban councils has launched a manifesto calling on the Government to end competitive bidding and return to a redistributive council funding model.

Labour pledges to revitalise high streets

12/04/2023

Labour will today promote its plan to revitalise ailing high streets through a £700m fund to help small businesses with soaring energy bills.

Budget 2023: Hunt to boost mayors' financial autonomy

15/03/2023

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced the Government will ‘boost mayors’ financial autonomy’ in his Budget.

COVID business relief fund ‘carnage’, says report

13/02/2023

Less than a quarter of local authorities have paid out their full grants from the COVID relief fund for local businesses, new research reveals.

Gove unveils 'blueprint' for council spending

12/12/2022

All councils will see a 3% increase in spending for the next financial year, a central government ‘blueprint’ for spending has revealed.

Mini-Budget: Government in 'early discussions' on Investment Zones

23/09/2022

The Government is in ‘early discussions with nearly 40 places’ including Tees Valley and the West Midlands about creating new Investment Zones offering tax cuts for businesses, the chancellor has confirmed.

Westminster council calls for ‘reform’ of business rates

26/08/2022

Westminster City Council has called for a ‘fundamental reform’ of business rates ahead of what the local authority warns will be a difficult winter.

Thousands of businesses face insolvency waiting for £50m tax rebates

26/07/2022

Over 3,000 businesses in England have gone ‘bust’ while waiting for business rates rebates worth over £50m, new research has revealed.

Queen's Speech: Business rates set for overhaul

10/05/2022

It has been confirmed a ‘Non-Domestic Rating Bill’ will form part of the agenda during the next Parliamentary session.

New Bill to put beauty at the heart of planning, says Gove

08/05/2022

The Queen’s Speech is set to include a new bill to revamp planning and kick start housebuilding, levelling up secretary Michael Gove has revealed.

COVID business rates relief ‘a total joke’

04/03/2022

Hundreds of thousands of businesses promised business rates reliefs through a £1.5bn relief fund are still waiting to receive support, analysis reveals.

Gove closes tax loophole on second homes

14/01/2022

A loophole that allows second home owners to avoid paying council tax by falsely claiming their properties are holidays lets will be closed under new measures.

Over 400,000 firms 'stuck' in business rates appeal system

02/11/2021

More than 400,000 businesses are stuck in the business rates appeal system waiting for COVID-19 reliefs, a real estate company has warned.

Labour promises to scrap business rates

27/09/2021

Labour has announced that it plans to scrap business rates to make the taxation system fairer and to help revive the high street after the pandemic.

Business rates system 'discourages shift to net zero'

31/08/2021

Small firms have written to the Government warning that the business rates system is a disincentive to invest in net zero and employee wellbeing measures.

Welsh Government looks at holiday home reforms

26/08/2021

Holiday home owners in Wales could be charged the full amount of business rates amid claims people are being priced out of their local area.

Retailers tell Government to fix ‘broken’ business rates system

10/08/2021

Retailers have urged the Government to reform the business rates system as part of the effort to help high streets recover from the pandemic.

Tax ‘loophole’ costs councils £110m

09/08/2021

New research suggests business rates relief for holiday lets is currently worth £110m a year.

Councils missing out on £110m a year due to holiday home tax break

05/08/2021

Councils are missing out on £110m a year in council tax income due to a loophole in the business rates system, new research has shown.

MPs call for urgent council finance reforms

19/07/2021

Councils should be given more flexibility to raise their own taxes and social care funding urgently needs to be reformed, MPs have said.

Treasury launches consultation for business rates revaluations every three years

30/06/2021

Business rates revaluations could take place more frequently to better reflect changing economic conditions under proposals unveiled by the Government.

Council tax debt rises to £4.4bn

24/06/2021

Council tax debt increased by £841m last year due to the pandemic reducing or delaying recovery action, official figures have shown.

Levelling up needs long-term approach, says report

10/05/2021

A shake-up of local government funding is required to achieve a levelling up of the country, a new report has concluded.

Government 'rules out' COVID-19 business rates appeals

26/03/2021

Local authorities will be allocated a £1.5bn funding pot to help businesses adversely affected by COVID-19.

Budget 2021: Sunak vows to do 'whatever it takes' to help businesses

03/03/2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has vowed to ‘do whatever it takes’ to support businesses as the country looks to a post-coronavirus future.

Budget 2021: Sunak warns of pain to come

03/03/2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a budget to protect ‘livelihood and jobs’ – with a warning of public finance pain to come.

BUDGET 2021: Sunak's lifeline for workers and business

03/03/2021

Rishi Sunak’s Budget is expected to provide a lifeline for workers as the furlough scheme is extended to September while the universal credit £20 uplift could also be prolonged for six months.

Labour calls for council powers to intervene in high streets

25/02/2021

Proposals for councils to take over empty shops and a ‘wholesale reform’ of business rates have been put forward by Labour.

Review of business rates delayed until autumn

19/02/2021

The final report on the review of business rates will be pushed back until autumn, the Government has confirmed today.

Think tank proposes 10-point plan to reform business rates

29/10/2020

The valuation of business rates should be devolved to local government, under proposals published by the Centre for Cities.

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.

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