In a briefing paper put together by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) to press the case for a reform of business rates, it said the tax on property is “no longer fit for purpose” and has become split from the health of the economy and individual businesses.
Retailers including Sir Philip Green, Justin King, and Ian Cheshire have called for business rates to be overhauled to help protect the high street. Business rates are costing the retail industry more than £7bn a year and increased by £175m in April.
Business rates are paid on commercial property and based on the rateable value of the site as well as inflation. They are the only national tax where the revenue generated each year is fixed in real terms.
Merge business rates and council tax, extend it to agricultural land, base it upon rental values as business rates currently are and you’ve a decent approximation to a land value tax.