2017 rating revaluation and rating appeals
For the 2017 Rating List new rateable values for commercial property came into effect on 1 April 2017 in England, Scotland and Wales, as part of a five year cycle which effectively allows the Government to adjust rateable values in line with changes in the commercial markets. It was previously scheduled for 1 April 2015 but was postponed to 1 April 2017. Assessments in the 2017 Rating List are based on rental values as at 1 April 2015.
In October 2015 the Department for Communities and Local Government launched a consultation paper 'Check, challenge, appeal - reforming business rates appeals', as part of government plans to fully devolve business rates to town halls by 2020, and setting out proposals for a new three-step appeals process in England, summarised as follows:
- Check - ensure that relevant facts are validated by the ratepayer and agreed as far as possible.
- Challenge - allows a ratepayer to challenge the rating list entry. They will set out their reason for the challenge, and put forward an alternative rating list entry (which will include an alternative valuation if that is the reason for the challenge), backed by supporting evidence.
- Appeal - allows a ratepayer to appeal to the Independent Valuation Tribunal for England.
In the 2016 Budget the government announced it will aim to introduce more frequent business rate revaluations (at least every 3 years) and will publish a discussion paper outlining options on how to achieve this to support both businesses and the stability of local authority funding.
From April 2017 the Government introduced the new appeals system (Check, Challenge, Appeal - CCA). The new system significantly increases the complexity surrounding appeals and will also add to the cost. It places the onus on the ratepayer to check the assessments before challenging and appealing.