• April 1st 2015 laid before Parliament as date for next revaluation• Leading expert criticises two-year delay before new values will affect rates bills


April 1st 2015 has been revealed as the valuation date for business rates assessments from 2017 onwards, with the necessary statutory instrument laid before Parliament yesterday (28th October, link). Responding to the announcement, Jerry Schurder, head of business rates at Gerald Eve, said:

“Having been critical of the postponement by two years of the 2015 revaluation, business will welcome this tangible commitment from the Government to finally bring rates bills more into line with current economic realities.

“The business rates burden will be more fairly split from 2017 onwards and struggling Rochdale retailers will no longer be subsidising the luxury brands of Regent Street.

“But with modern technology, it should no longer be necessary for there to be two years between the valuation date and the issuing of updated business rates bills.

“The whole point of a revaluation is to ensure rates bills reflect the property rental market and the wider economic climate – a gap of two years between valuation and implementation only reduces the chances that the bills will represent businesses’ ability to pay.

“The overwhelming business response to the Government’s ongoing review of business rates administration was that the gap should be shortened to one year and revaluations should occur more frequently.

“By announcing the valuation date as April 1st 2015, the Government has missed its first opportunity to deliver on the administration review’s commitment to ‘strengthen the system’s responsiveness to changes in property values’ and ‘to enable tax assessments to be based on up-to-date property values’.”