Autumn Statement Should Include Appeals Resolve Says Colliers

Posted on 24 November, 2015 by Chris Grigorovsky

On the eve of the Government’s Autumn Statement, Colliers International’s South West and South Wales business rates team has called for a clear target to ensure all appeals are resolved by 2017’s Rating List release.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 3, 2007: Westminster Palace in London England. Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Chancellor George Osborne is due to make his Autumn Budget statement in the House of Commons on Wednesday

Based in the Bristol office of Colliers International, Ben Batchelor-Wylam, commented: “The VOA has now amassed a record 255,000 outstanding rating appeals, which in part was caused by the cut off in appeals announced in last year’s Autumn Statement.

“It is acceptable for businesses to wait years for the resolution of appeals whilst also being subject to huge business rates over payments.”

It was recently announced that 17 Valuation Offices would be closed in areas including Taunton, Dorchester, Merthyr Tydfil and Bournemouth, as well as advising that legislative changes which allow the VOA to reduce current assessments back to 1 April 2010, would expire on 31 March 2016.

Mr. Wylam continues: “The combination of a bottleneck or appeals, office closures and legislative change will impact upon business ratepayers who could lose out on five years’ worth of savings.”

Stamp duty and the way it’s levied is another issue that Colliers wishes to have discussed, as Mark Charlton, Head of UK Research at Colliers International, said “It would be great to see some recognition from the Chancellor that the higher stamp duty levels introduced earlier this year are impacting on mobility, restricting sales and, at the upper end of the market, actually raising less tax than before.”

He adds that the best case scenario is George Osborne announces a complete overhaul of the “step-based” system and implement a fairer system that avoids perforate the market.

Chief Economist and Researcher at Colliers International, Walter Boettcher, concluded: “We would all like to see the Chancellor step up and say that the Budget was balanced and that the EU had already made so many concessions that there is no need for an EU Referendum.

“This would allow us to focus on the real tasks at hand, which are; devolving, restructuring and developing the UK regional economies.”

The Autumn Statement takes place on Wednesday November 25.

Earlier this month, it was reported that the Government launched for a new and more efficient business rates appeals system, which you can read about here.

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