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  • Writer's picturedavid Tanswell

Business rates are still far too volatile

Peter Foley is our resident guru here at CPA, and has been passionately following the shifting world of business rates for many years. With a keen political insight, Peter’s writing reveals how policy change is key to understanding your business rates further, and how this could translate into substantial savings. In his weekly column, Peter also outlines a desired path forward, with changes we’d like to see implemented for a fairer system on the nation's business rates.

Looking at business rates in the UK, it's becoming abundantly clear that the volatility remains a significant issue, even now in 2023. The Uniform Business Rate (UBR), which was first introduced back in 1990 at a paltry 34 pence in the pound, has seen dramatic and sometimes unpredictable swings.

Consider this: Dartford, a bustling town in Kent, saw 900 shops benefitting from an average rate reduction of 38.2%. This was a major boon for the local businesses, helping them keep more of their hard-earned revenue. But move down to Purbeck, a picturesque district in Dorset, and the story is completely different. Here, the rates for 380 shops have inexplicably climbed by an average of 19.7%. That's a considerable increase, one that could potentially harm businesses already dealing with various other pressures.

The revaluation that many had pinned their hopes on has proven to be less of a magic bullet and more of a mixed bag. Yes, some rate increases were unavoidable, even in sectors like retail that have faced their own unique challenges in recent years. But the inconsistency and volatility remain a sticking point.

If the new rates bill has hit you like a proverbial punch to the gut, Commercial Property Advisors (CPA) is here to assist. Our team of seasoned surveyors, who are all regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), will leverage the latest datasets of comparable businesses to scrutinize the details of your case.

We will compile a strong, data-backed argument to formally challenge the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). Our objective? Securing lower rates for your business in the future. Our promise? Handling all the paperwork, so you can focus on what truly matters – your business. Our fee? A competitive commission, payable only if we succeed in reducing your rates. And the best part? It's agreed upon in advance, with zero hidden charges.

So, don't consider your latest rates bill as the final word. There's always room for negotiation. For expert help and guidance, reach out to CPA without delay. Let's work together to navigate the turbulent seas of business rates.

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