Business rates on pagan burial grounds

We both know and like Tim Daw around here.

A farmer who built the first new long barrow tomb in the UK in more than 5,000 years has been told that he must pay thousands of pounds in business rates on it.

Tim Daw, the owner of the burial ground used by Pagans, has been told by the Valuation Office Agency that he must pay between £4,500 to £5,000 a year in business rates for his burial mound where people pay to inter the ashes of their loved ones.

Long barrows were in widespread use in the early Neolithic period and examples still exist today, but the burial method fell out of use.

Usually, church graveyards and burial grounds are exempt from the tax as they are seen as places of worship. But Mr Daw has been told that his long barrow is a commercial storage facility that must pay the tax, as it falls above the rateable value on a business property of £12,000.

Mr Daw, from Devizes, Wiltshire, said the decision means mourners visiting his tomb will have to “pay to pray” and that the move discriminates against non-Christian forms of worship.

The interesting part is, well, how have they defined that value? Given that it’s the only one what comparator have they used to work it out?

24 comments on “Business rates on pagan burial grounds

  1. and that the move discriminates against non-Christian forms of worship.

    I’m fine with this, given that we are, after all, a Christian country.

  2. But Mr Daw has been told that his long barrow is a commercial storage facility

    Well he might like to contest that point – a storage facility is one where you can remove as well as deposit things whereas in his case the traffic is all one way.

  3. Annoying to see the ever ready thieves of the state cashing in.

    However as we have our present set of dear guests with their little ways I am inclined to agree with Steve. To defeat identities one also needs an identity. Batman battles criminals. If he called himself “Mr Vague” and operated under the motto “I sometimes stand for something –sorta” he would not be a comic book icon.

    Hence the need for a true dynamic force in society. And my scheme to found or re-found a couple of Church religious/military/scientific orders. A monkish Order of Engineers dedicated to glorifying God by settling the Solar System–thus ensuring the survival of Man and real scientific progress. Much needed at the very time the scum of the left are trying to destroy science by having their Newspeak zombies invade it as they have the so-called “humanities”.

    Also an order akin to the Templers reviving perhaps Knighthood or some equivalent dedicated to defeating the enemies of freedom in the Lord’s name. On the grounds that Lordship can belong by right only to a supreme being and all human claims to dominion over others are blasphemous and satanic.

    Interesting concepts if nothing else given today’s assortment of left-puke atheists who wear the dog collar.

    .

  4. Mr. Ecks
    Agreed. If you don’t stand for something you’ll stand for anything.

    Surely it’s a cemetery and therefore the same rules apply?

  5. What do the Italians do with their cemeteries, you know the ones with a great big wall all the way round and your deceased are walled up in a drawer slot?

  6. “a storage facility is one where you can remove as well as deposit things whereas in his case the traffic is all one way.”

    As I understand it, its a resting place for Granny’s ashes, not a burial plot for her body. So given Granny now consists of a pot filled with some ashes (that are allegedly hers, buts thats another issue) she can indeed be removed if the relatives so wished. Were it an actual burial ground I doubt he’d be having this problem. Removing bodies from the ground is a crime, so there’s no way a person buried there could be considered a ‘storage item’. And selling the burial plots would be fine, thats standard practice.

    I think he’ll have to refine his legals – each set of ashes will have to be deposited loose in its burial nook and then sealed in perpetuity. It needs to be a final resting place, not a open shelf you put the pot on.

  7. Witchie, the slots in those are rentals, usually 10 years at a time or a certain time after next of kin gets popped in the alcove next to you.

    After that you get dug up and slung in a pit with everyone else who’s out this year, to make way for the next lot.

    Fascinating thing in every little Italian town is the necrologue. The latest deceased get their announcements posted up on billboards.

  8. The electricity companies also do a good deal on cheap power for votive lights. Electrify granny’s tomb and you can have one on your electricity bill as a permanent memento.

  9. The interesting part is, well, how have they defined that value? Given that it’s the only one what comparator have they used to work it out?

    1. How much money does it make?
    2. How much can we chisel out of him?

  10. I’m not sure who annoys me more. The tax man desperate to rob every last honest penny he can or hippies who pretend to follow long dead religions.

    At least the hippies are harmless I suppose.

  11. Thanks for highlighting this. Rates can either be calculated on the rent charged / profit made (receipts-expenses basis) or on what is known as the contractors basis where they take the cost of building the place and say its rateable value is about 5% of that. The first method would givena peppercorn rateable value as it doesn’t make any money now and would have been fair, but they want to use the other method which is unfair. Keep up the good work Tim

  12. They are NOT having to “pay to pray” because if they *were* praying he would be exempt from business rates.
    So he’s conned some registrar who doesn’t have any reason to check it but not the Valuation Department which has skin in the game.
    Oh, it’s not prejudice against non-Christians: Jews Muslims and Buddhists are non-Christians.

  13. Bloke in Germany,

    Those posters announcing the funeral, which normally takes place the following day, are really shit when you see your own name on one!

  14. How much would it cost to hire a pagan priest to turn up with his followers and conduct an occasional service?

    I suspect you’d find a few willing to do it for travel expenses (or even for nothing for the fun of doing so in an actual barrow). Then won’t it be a place of worship?

    There’s plenty of Anglican churches that only have (I think) three services a year, just to keep them technically open, and I bet they don’t get charged business rates.

  15. @ Richard T
    In my previous parish there was an Anglican church that had *no* services a year because it was structurally unsafe (and some bits had fallen down) but the local hard-left council refused permission for the CoE to demolish it so that it was a continuing drain on CoE funds (having to insure an unsafe structure for public liability and repeatedly pay for repairs for fences damaged by yobs breaking in to smoke pot).
    No, they didn’t charge business rates – maybe they hadn’t read The Lord’s instructions to his followers and were afraid that we might tell them what we thought about them.
    As to your first question – there almost certainly is some pagan priest somewhere who would do it for nothing/travelling expenses, but most of the anti-christian group are not pagans, just “atheists” who either believe “there is no god but Richard Dawkins” or, more frequently, “there is no god but me”, so will not use the Barrow as a place of worship.

  16. “The electricity companies also do a good deal on cheap power for votive lights. Electrify granny’s tomb and you can have one on your electricity bill as a permanent memento.”

    Another argument for Brexit! Why would the UK want to be locked into ‘ever closer union’ with people so different culturally? Jus’ askin’, like….

  17. @Jim – thanks for your helpful comment. Perhaps the solution you propose is the right one and covers the contingency where itinerant ashes and their urns could experience late-onset Wanderlust.

  18. That’d be Wiltshire Council …. strange how they’ve “overlooked” hundreds of thousands of £££ in business rates on derelict or empty business premises since Broon slapped rates on them… money grab only when it suits it seems…. obviously in cahoots with or misleading VOA as to status – won’t even answer FoIs honestly.

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