Portas Towns hardest hit by postponed rating revaluation, claims retail and property group
The group, which includes the British Council of Shopping Centres, the British Property Federation, and the British Independent Retailers Association, claims that the proposed two year delay to the rating revaluation, being debated as part of the government’s Growth & Infrastructure Bill, will leave most of the Portas Pilot Towns paying excessive rates bills.
A total of 27 Portas Pilot Towns are receiving government funding to help revive their struggling high streets. The group has highlighted Stockport, Wolverhampton, Croydon, Liverpool and Bedford as Portas Pilot Towns that would see big cuts in their rates bills in any 2015 revaluation due to them seeing substantial falls in retail property rental values.
The group is arguing that by postponing the revaluation of business rates for a further two years, the government is undermining the work of the Portas Pilot scheme and other initiatives.
Michael Green, chief executive, British Council of Shopping Centres, explained: "The government is quickly undoing much of the hard work of those who are trying to revive British high streets. The decision to postpone the revaluation could prove to be the final nail in the coffin for many retailers, for whom it simply will become economically unviable to continue trading."
Liz Peace, chief executive, British Property Federation, added: "We urge government to take a look at the numbers again; the industry has been calling for the period between revaluations to be shortened, not lengthened and the revaluation postponement heaps pressure on many retailers who are trying to keep shops open in challenging market conditions. The entire process has been worsened by a lack of consultation or detailed impact analysis; this is no way for any government to set fiscal policy."
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