Proposed rates appeals changes unfair and unworkable, say ALMR

By | September 13, 2016


 Proposed rates appeals changes unfair and unworkable, say ALMR

Proposed changes to business rates revaluation are unfair, unworkable and will potentially cost businesses thousands of pounds, says the ALMR.

The ALMR has written to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills opposing new guidelines which would see appeals against ratings falling “within the bounds of professional judgement” dismissed.

ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The proposed changes to the appeals system are unfair, imprecise and potentially unworkable in practice. The ALMR has written to the BIS to highlight this point and to urge a rethink against such a last-minute development.

“The new guidelines revolve around the idea of “professional judgement” regarding valuation. Clearly, such a subjective notion is going to cause problems and inconsistencies throughout the process and across the entire system. There is no indication of how professional judgement is to be assessed, how it will be implemented or what margins of error permitted.

“We also have the added problem of pub valuations being based on hypothetical fair maintainable trade. Additional scope for interpretation will only increase the probability of error in the system.

“A potential dismissal of the appeal on such vague grounds will only add to the disincentive to resolve through mediation. At a time when the appeals process is already placing additional financial burdens on businesses, unclear complications such as these are an extra, unworkable burden.”

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