Council chiefs in York calling on Government to change business rates system

York Press: Kersten England: AIms to write to Lord Mandelson and his counterparts in the other parties Kersten England: AIms to write to Lord Mandelson and his counterparts in the other parties

THE battle to rescue small business in York from crippling hikes in business rates which threaten their existence is to be taken to the Government.

Kersten England, City of York Council’s chief executive, is to write to Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and his counterparts within other political parties to press the case for reform of a system which has left some traders seeing the price they must pay double, or even treble.

The move comes after The Press revealed the extent of the financial strain facing small independent businesses throughout the city, which has led to fears pubs, shops and other outlets could be forced to close.

A motion tabled by council leader Andrew Waller, who branded the situation “unreasonable”, has called for “fundamental reform” of business rates to introduce a “fairer system”. The motion, agreed at a full meeting of the authority, also suggests that the council should keep a portion of the money collected so it can be pumped back into the local economy.

“Traders such as those in the Micklegate area, who I have spoken to, feel they are being unfairly penalised because they are small businesses, and that the system seems to favour large retailers,” said Coun Waller.

“As a council, we want to do something about that and raise their concerns with the people who are in a position to make decisions, so we hope what we have to say will be listened to.

“One property in Micklegate has seen an increase of more than 300 per cent in rateable value between 2005 and 2010, and many businesses have received an additional burden at a time when they are in a precarious position.

“It has reached a point where it is clear the system is not working. Retaining jobs and creating new ones is paramount and, with a new Government coming in, this is the perfect time to influence policy.”

The council’s letter will be sent, despite some councillors saying further analysis of potential business rate reforms should first be carried out to make sure it would not leave traders struggling even further.

Among those worst-hit by the business rate hike are York’s pubs.

The Castle Howard Ox in The Groves, has seen a leap from £8,700 to £29,650 – meaning a possible annual payment of £12,000.

Landlady Paula Allen said: “I’m very glad to see the council taking this up and I just hope and pray it has an effect.

”It’s good to know there are people backing us, because when we first found out about this increase, we felt very alone and didn’t really know what to do.”

Comments (7)

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11:23am Mon 12 Apr 10

Garrowby Turnoff says...

This government has no interest in small British businesses. Mandelson will chuck the letter in his waste bin - and claim expenses for the energy spent in the throw.
This government has no interest in small British businesses. Mandelson will chuck the letter in his waste bin - and claim expenses for the energy spent in the throw. Garrowby Turnoff
  • Score: 0

1:52pm Mon 12 Apr 10

Silver says...

Garrowby Turnoff wrote:
This government has no interest in small British businesses. Mandelson will chuck the letter in his waste bin - and claim expenses for the energy spent in the throw.
Or they will respond with agreeable voices due to the fact there is an election now on but ultimately nothing will change. Only thing to do is kick them in the ballots box where it'll hurt
[quote][p][bold]Garrowby Turnoff[/bold] wrote: This government has no interest in small British businesses. Mandelson will chuck the letter in his waste bin - and claim expenses for the energy spent in the throw.[/p][/quote]Or they will respond with agreeable voices due to the fact there is an election now on but ultimately nothing will change. Only thing to do is kick them in the ballots box where it'll hurt Silver
  • Score: 0

2:10pm Mon 12 Apr 10

meme says...

Perhaps commercial empty rates should also be changed How can a Government charge a full tax when a property is empty?
Perhaps commercial empty rates should also be changed How can a Government charge a full tax when a property is empty? meme
  • Score: 0

3:23pm Mon 12 Apr 10

LittleTed says...

I disagree with everyone and everything!
I disagree with everyone and everything! LittleTed
  • Score: 0

8:44pm Mon 12 Apr 10

Garrowby Turnoff says...

LittleTed wrote:
I disagree with everyone and everything!
I agree with you... er...
[quote][p][bold]LittleTed[/bold] wrote: I disagree with everyone and everything![/p][/quote]I agree with you... er... Garrowby Turnoff
  • Score: 0

9:37pm Mon 12 Apr 10

King Edward says...

Unless they also defer the NI increase, and reduce all the beaurocracy it won't make much difference. Being forced to file VAT and Tax returns online doesn't help either. A government of any mainstream political party is anti small business because we don't make large 'donations' to them.
Unless they also defer the NI increase, and reduce all the beaurocracy it won't make much difference. Being forced to file VAT and Tax returns online doesn't help either. A government of any mainstream political party is anti small business because we don't make large 'donations' to them. King Edward
  • Score: 0

9:37pm Mon 12 Apr 10

King Edward says...

Unless they also defer the NI increase, and reduce all the beaurocracy it won't make much difference. Being forced to file VAT and Tax returns online doesn't help either. A government of any mainstream political party is anti small business because we don't make large 'donations' to them.
Unless they also defer the NI increase, and reduce all the beaurocracy it won't make much difference. Being forced to file VAT and Tax returns online doesn't help either. A government of any mainstream political party is anti small business because we don't make large 'donations' to them. King Edward
  • Score: 0

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