Business rates are set to rise by another £530 in Exeter, putting more pressure on our high streets and local economy.
The average business rates bill in England will increase by an average of £430 in 2014/15, meaning the average business rate bill will be around £12, 600.
Although Exeter has fared better than many places since the 2008 global financial crash, the biggest complaint I get from local businesses is soaring business rates. Next year’s increase will be the third highest in the South West.
Labour has pledged to cut rates on properties with an annual rental value of less than £50,000 in 2015, back to the level of the previous year, and in addition freeze business rates for those properties at that level in 2016.
This would be paid for by reversing the Coalition’s cut in the main rate of corporation tax from 21% to 20%. That would still leave Britain with one of the lowest corporation tax rates in the developed world.
The level of business rates is set by the Treasury, although the revenue itself is collected locally. Business rates increase with inflation. The rate of increase each April is set according to the rate of RPI inflation the previous September. RPI in September 2013 was 3.2 per cent, which means the business rates increase in April 2014 will be 3.2 per cent.
This year (2013-14) the average business rates bill is around £12,200. This means that the average increase next April will be around £400. There are over 1.7 million properties in the UK paying business rates. The overall increase in business rates is therefore around £700m (1.7m properties x £400).
Below is a breakdown of the average increase in business rates in April for each region;
|Region||Average increase in business rates in 2014/15 (£)|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||340|
Business rate increases in 2014/15 – Local Authority breakdown:
|Local Authority||Average increase in business rates in 2014/15 (£)|
|Bath & North East Somerset||370|
|Forest of Dean||130|
|Isles of Scilly||120|
|Weymouth and Portland||200|