05 October 2015 #Commercial Real Estate
Some long awaited news on the future of Business Rates was today revealed by George Osborne at the Conservative Party conference.
The government will seek to abolish the uniform business rate and give each local authority the power to set their own rates.
Assuming local authorities use this power wisely then this should enable them to improve business activity in their regions.
However, there is a potential fly in the ointment. Elected mayors (with suitable support of the Local Enterprise Partnership) can add a supplemental rate to cover the cost of infrastructure projects within their local area. The Treasury aim to counteract this by capping in to an expected 2p.
The Chancellor is targeting 2020 as the date by which all local governments will have total control of their own local taxes, including business rates.
The announcement will come as a great relief to the retail industry, who have been campaigning hard to relieve the pressure felt by the burden of what it sees as an outdated unfair tax system.
At the moment these are, very much, outline proposals and so we will need to watch this space as the government reveals the precise details of the proposals in the coming months.