According to Colliers International, there are estimated to be 20,000 business rates payers that will be required to remove their appeals, after having seen a leaked VOA internal document.
Previously business rates for those that occupied more than one floor space in a single building with multiple firms, were assessed as one unit. Furthermore, they could also be eligible for a quantum or bulk discount of up to 15 per cent.
In the leaked VOA document, valuation officers have now been instructed to evaluate each floor individually for business rates.
Around eight per cent of the 280,000 outstanding appeals are estimated to be withdrawn while the VOA splits present assessments. Any fresh appeals will be capped to April 2015 due to the Chancellor’s one-off rates cap. This has Resulted in denying ratepayers’ their legitimate right to appeal from the beginning of the last valuation.
John Webber, Head of Rating at Colliers International, said:
“60 years of pragmatism is being washed down the drain just so firms up and down the country can be milked for more money.”
“In a masterstroke, the VOA has been able to delete eight per cent of outstanding business rates appeals, remove bulk discounts and extract what might be over £200 million in business rates revenue for cash-strapped local councils.”
“It is a ratepayer’s right to challenge their business rates valuation. But with the cap now in place, the clock ticking for new appeals and this major change to how we assess this type of tenant, it is businesses who will be caught in this scandalous ‘catch twenty-two’.”
“Today, we have written to the VOA requiring them to expedite the process of splitting out the hitherto joint assessments. And we fully intend to re-lodge appeals on behalf of clients who, quite rightly, will be feeling the unfairness of the Supreme Court ruling.”