Business rates set to soar in the South East amid Valuation Office Agency chaos

The business rates system is close to collapse under the weight of over 300,000 overdue appeals, while businesses across the South East prepare for huge new bills.

Some of the appeals date back to 2010, but it is thought that the problem will grow significantly when new valuations are published next month.

VOA struggles to cope

Speaking to the Daily Mail, commercial agents Colliers International said the Valuation Office Agency, which oversees business rates, is “understaffed and demoralised.” The Agency has seen consecutive years of cuts, including a 20 per cent reduction in 2009-10 alone.

Business rates set to rise

Colliers also reports that many business owners are expected to see huge spikes in their rates bills as valuations are brought in line with contemporary property pricing, with the previous revaluation happening in 2008, in the midst of the property market slump.

Webber told the Daily Mail: “The government’s decision to delay the last revaluation will come home to roost in a matter of weeks when we predict massive hikes across London and the South East.”

Calls for rate relief review

Businesses and commentators have long been calling for new reliefs on business rates to combat rising property prices and the impact of the delay in revaluations.

Small business rate relief is currently available to businesses with only one property, which has a rateable value of less than £12,000.

Do you expect your business rates to increase as valuations are adjusted? Tell us in the comments.

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