Businesses to undergo rates revaluation

The Department of Finance is to revaluate properties in order to calculate business rates more accurately.

75,000 properties in Northern Ireland will undergo revaluation, with the aim of publishing a new valuation list by April 2020.

The recalculation, which will include all non-domestic NI properties, will be used to calculate future rates for businesses in a way that reflects recent economic trends.

The most recent rates revaluation, which occurred in 2015, was met with a hostile response by NI’s retail lobbyists. Retail NI estimated around 71 per cent of their members experienced an increase in their rate bills as a result of the recalculation. The group have called on the Lands and Property Services (LPS) to exercise greater transparency during the upcoming study.

Retail NI’s chief executive Glyn Roberts said: In 2015, Retail NI had major concerns with the process and transparency of the valuation of many of our members’ stores which has to be avoided in the 2020 revaluation.

“It is welcome that we now have greater transparency with the valuation process and we will be closely working with the LPS to monitor it as we approach 2020.”

This is a sentiment shared throughout NI’s retail sector, who derided 2015’s revaluation, which saw the rates of some hospitality businesses treble overnight.

Northern Ireland Retail Consortium’s (NIRC) Aodhan Connolly said: The NIRC has been a strong advocate of more regular revaluations so that the rates system better reflects trading conditions, and so this announcement is a hugely positive step for the retail industry and the Department of Finance is to be commended for their progress.

“However, we need a minister in place now so we can get to the optimal three-year revaluation cycle which will allow this tax to flex with the economic circumstances in Northern Ireland.”

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