2016 Review – Business Rates and other little known facts

Stuart Hicks, Manchester Office, Director - Dunlop Heywood

BY Stuart Hicks, Director

As an eventful 2016 draws to a close, every man and his intern seems to be either doing an annual summary or forecast in one form or another.

Not to denigrate Business Rates in any way but it is probably not the best subject to work with when you are looking for a pithy round up of 2016.

So, I have decided to just pull out a few statistics and predictions taken from across the year that may give you a little food for thought as we head towards the holidays. I would class them as mildly interesting, as opposed to inserting them into Christmas crackers.

So, in no particular order:

·         Business rates raise over £22bn a year for England’s Local Authorities – rising to £23.5 billion next year.

·         Business Rates revenue has increased by 27.6% over the last seven years – compared to corporation tax which has dropped by 7.1% over the same time period.

·         Other tax revenues that have increased include Income tax, up by 7.4%, fuel duties, up by 9.2%, and national Insurance contribution by employers up by 10%.

·         In 2016, the Valuation Office Agency had around 300,000 backlogged cases in its appeal process.

·         London paid £15.1bn in property taxes according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – the UK has the highest property taxes in the world and London pays a fifth of the total collected. In 2014, the last year for which OECD figures are available, property taxes were 12.7 per cent of the total tax collected. These included council tax, business rates, stamp duty, land tax, and, in Scotland, land and building transaction tax.

·         The 32 boroughs of London and the City will see their rateable values increase by 24 per cent in 2017.

·         London boroughs will be paying £9.53bn in extra tax over the five year period from 2017. The City is braced for a £2bn BR hike.

·         The top 10.9 per cent of rateable properties in England contribute 72.3 per cent of RV in the 2017 Rating Lists.

·         London’s Heathrow airport will continue to pay the highest business rate bill of any business in England and Wales when new rateable values are applied in 2017. The airport’s annual bill will be £118m, according to experts.

·         The list of the other Top 50 rate payers is dominated by airports, power stations and London head offices. Harrods and Selfridges both appear in the top 10, paying £18m and £16m respectively each year.

·         Pubs across England and Wales face a tax increase of £421m in the five years after the re-evaluation – meaning pubs will have to sell 121m extra pints to fund the rate hike or put the prices up by 30p a pint.

·         By raising the Small Business Rate Relief threshold from £6,000 to £15,000 George Osborne ensured around 630,000 small businesses no longer pay any business rates.

·         If the steel industry was exempted from Business Rates it would cost the Treasury around £2bn.

·         Sheffield City Council gains 18% of its city region business rates from Meadowhall Shopping Centre – equating to £176m over the last five years. The Trafford Centre and its retailers similarly pay around £44m every year in business rates.

·         The number of articles written by me for PlaceNorthWest – 40.

Happy Christmas and here is looking to 2017.