Land and Property Services review rates bills for business

Tue, 07/01/2020 - 13:57 -- Editor

Land & Property Services (LPS) has today released draft valuations of all 74,000 businesses in Northern Ireland.

Known as Reval2020, this process will result in a new non-domestic Valuation List being used to calculate business rate bills from April 2020.

This process is about restoring fairness in the rating system by redistributing basically the same rating burden using more up-to-date values. A revaluation is not about collecting more money from businesses, but it is about ensuring that everyone pays their fair share.

Business rates are charged on most non-domestic premises including shops, offices, warehouses, factories, hotels and pubs as well as utilities such as gas, water, electricity and wind farms.

The results show a modest growth in the total value in Northern Ireland of 6.8% compared to the current Valuation List which is based on 2013 values.

Sue Gray, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Finance said: “The revaluation means that from April, ratepayers will contribute to the funding of essential public services such as health, education and infrastructure as well as a wide range of council services relative to their 2018 rental value, instead of 2013 values as at present.

“The growth in the total value of the Valuation List does not translate into a corresponding overall increase in rate bills. I will be seeking to ensure that the regional business rate poundage that we set is lowered to reflect the overall growth in the Valuation List. I will also be encouraging councils to do the same in respect of district rate poundages reflecting the fact that revaluation is not about raising more revenue overall from rates.”

If rate poundages are adjusted downwards by both central government and district councils (before any necessary cost of inflation) this would mean up to 59% of business ratepayers would either see a reduction or little or no change in their rate bill.

Encouraging business ratepayers to view the draft schedule of values, Sue added: “I’m delighted that for the first time we are making the draft valuation list available on our Spatial NI platform. This will provide ratepayers with greater detail including a breakdown of how their value has been calculated as well as seeing the same information for similar properties in their local area and indeed for all similar properties across Northern Ireland. This approach makes the rating system much more transparent – which is absolutely the right thing to do.

“I would encourage business ratepayers to go online and view the new draft values for their properties ahead of rate bills issuing in April.”

Preliminary outcomes of the revaluation include:

  • many high street shops and some shopping centres will see a decrease in rateable value, with some as much as 10%;
  • many of the edge of town retail parks will remain constant;
  • some of the largest food stores show a decrease in rateable value of between 5% and 15%;
  • the office sector shows an overall increase in rateable value of 8%; and
  • the pub trade will see considerable variation in values with notable decreases in some pubs and significant increases in some pubs in busy urban areas.

As well as being able to view their new valuation online at a time that suits them, business owners can come along and talk to the Reval2020 team at events across Northern Ireland to find out more about what their new valuation means for them.

View the draft schedule of values at www.finance-ni.gov.uk/reval-2020-ni

If ratepayers are unable to access the required information online they can contact LPS on Tel: 0300 200 7801.

LPS is encouraging ratepayers with queries about their new valuation to contact them.