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BBPA calls for more frequent revaluations of business rates and new self-assessment model

08/07/16


The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has today supported the Government’s objective of moving to more frequent revaluations of business rates, to at least a three-yearly process. The call comes in a BBPA submission to the Government’s consultation on the issue.


To help make a system of frequent revaluations work better for both pubs and the Government, the BBPA has set out proposals for a new self-assessment model. This would be based broadly on the current methodology, but with greater flexibility built in, to help avoid additional costs and administrative burdens on the pub sector.


Business rates already make up approximately ten per cent of pub operating costs. Currently, business rates are calculated based on an outlet’s Fair Maintainable Turnover (FMT), the level of revenue that a reasonably efficient operator would be able to generate in the premises.


In practice, rates can be based on actual turnover, and this can penalise successful businesses that are performing beyond expectations. Reforms to the business rates system should focus on FMT, whilst increased frequency of revaluations would ensure rates are more closely aligned with current market conditions.


The BBPA’s proposed self-assessment model would give licensees greater insight into the process, and added transparency. This would also allow for the Government’s aim of more frequent revaluations without significant cost, to either Government or businesses.


The BBPA is also calling for a light-touch approach when it comes to compliance and enforcement of any new scheme; one that does not penalise genuine mistakes or self-assessments put forward in good faith but are subsequently disputed.


Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive, comments:


“We have always believed that the pub sector needs more frequent rates revaluations, which is essential in ensuring that the business rates burden is spread more fairly and better reflects the current market. The self-assessment approach that we are putting forward offers both pubs and the Government a way of achieving this in an efficient way that would be good for both.”


The BBPA’s submission, ‘Business Rates – Delivering more frequent revaluations’, is available here.



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