The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has submitted a response to the Government’s consultation on the business rates appeal process, urging a rethink of the end of retail relief.
The consultation – which closed yesterday – sets out a number of measures designed to streamline the appeals process as part of the Enterprise Bill. Though the BBPA said it broadly welcomes the proposals, it renewed calls to rethink the end of retail relief in April, which it says will add up to £1,500 to the rates bills of three-quarters of pubs.
The proposals include a simplified three-stage appeals process, with businesses able to check how their rateable value has been calculated, challenge their valuation and appeal at a valuation tribunal if necessary.
Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: 'It is one part of the jigsaw in what is much needed reform of the rates system, and we will continue to work for an effective revaluation in 2017, and encourage local councils to help pubs by cutting their rates burden, as well as calling for new ways of spreading the burden fairly among other businesses.
'These proposals are a firm step in the right direction, as we have long called for changes to make it easier for publicans to appeal their valuations.'
In its response the BBPA said there are currently 'unacceptable delays in addressing incorrect valuations', and that it had concerns about the timescales involved in the ‘check and challenge’ stages. It also said it supported plans for a refundable fee to reduce spurious claims, but said it must be capped at a reasonable level.