NI independent retailers welcome new rate revaluation outlines
17 November 2014
The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has strongly welcomed the recent outline rates revaluation figures as “good news for independent retailers and town centres”.
NIIRTA chief executive Glyn Roberts said: “We welcome the outcome of the rates revaluation and are particularly pleased that Finance Minister Simon Hamilton has addressed the unfair imbalance of large out of town multiple retailers paying less rates per square foot than many of our members in town centres”
“This is a win-win for our independent retailers and town centres,” Roberts said. “Many of our members will be paying 25-50% less in their rates bills which is a big boost given the recent difficult economic times.”
Finance Minister Simon Hamilton MLA announced the online release of draft rateable values of business properties last week. The new values will be used to calculate business rate bills from 1 April 2015. LPS released the figures early so that business ratepayers could see the new valuations well before rates are struck, with final values published in February, and business rate bills issued in April.
The results, which can be viewed at http://www.reval2015ni.gov.uk, show modest growth in the total value of the new valuation list when compared to the current list, which is based on 2001 values. An analysis of the current full set of 73,000 new values for non-domestic properties indicates that overall growth is in the region of 8%.
The minister said: “This growth of course does not translate into a corresponding overall increase in rate bills, revaluations are revenue neutral. The Executive and new councils will not raise any more money because of the revaluation. However, the amount raised will be redistributed between non-domestic ratepayers on a fairer basis using modern rental values.”
Minister Hamilton also advised that the issue of Small Business Rate Relief, following the revaluation, is under active consideration, informed by an evaluation of the effectiveness of the current scheme recently completed by the NI Centre for Economic Policy at the Ulster University. A further announcement will be made in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the 2015/16 Draft Budget proposes the continuation of a Small Business Rates Relief scheme offering £20 million of support next year to thousands of Northern Ireland’s small businesses.