This is of course quite so

It’s the aim too:

Business rates are collected on commercial property and are linked to the underlying value of the premises. The tax is widely seen as outmoded because it penalises companies that need a presence in town centres, where values are higher, resulting in them paying more in rates than online and out-of-town rivals.

Given that it’s the landlords that actually bear the burden this is why we do it as well. There is a value to that land at that location. It’s a Ricardian Rent. So, tax the bugger, that’s the point if it.

18 thoughts on “This is of course quite so”

  1. “companies that need a presence in town centres, where values are higher,”
    The values are higher because demand (need?) is higher; if it isn’t more profitable then don’t need it.

  2. The tax is widely seen as outmoded because it penalises companies that need a presence in town centres, where values are higher

    A bizarre way of looking at it. Companies want (or at least wanted) to be in town centres, hence the higher value of real estate there. If companies wish to relocate from the City to Skegness, then real estate values will change to reflect this.

  3. The property values and associated rents and taxes will fall in line with falling demand. There isn’t much point to a town centre when stuff gets brought to your house.

  4. But Rob the town centres will thrive because people will want to go there and stroll around admiring the beautiful buildings.

    Except that town councils, planners, and architects have done their best to make them ugly bloody places. With only a little help from the Luftwaffe.

  5. . . . when stuff gets brought to your house.

    People nearby order stuff that keeps getting brought to my house. It’s just a coincidence of local geography and idiot/lazy couriers, but it’s bloody annoying. Made worse by lockdown ‘cos stuff is just dumped without communication. Piles of fucking compost bags and garden furniture, endless packets of all sorts. The supposed recipients are elderly so it’s down to me to drag stuff round there. And then they complain about it to me.

    Not affecting me in any way, you understanddddddddd.

  6. If piles of compost are being dumped outside your house, are you sure you haven’t just pissed someone off?

  7. Business Rates have too many loopholes though. There’s the Retail Discount (since 2019), the Local Newspaper Relief (since 2017), agricultural land & buildings, religious buildings, empty listed buildings, rural rate relief, and perhaps worst of all, small business relief.

    Small business relief is the worst because it actively discourages companies from expanding.

  8. Well said Andrew M – SBRR even encourages landlords to split properties so the child properties come in under the threshold for the relief. The empty relief rules encourage companies like Principled Offsite Logistics Ltd to spring up to offer to fill your vacant unit with boxes so that the empty exemption can be reclaimed again after 6 weeks of occupancy. The overall situation where business rates are about 5 times the equivalent council tax for the same foot print is a disincentive to owners to create business properties.
    An LVT where residential and commercial pay roughly the same, with no discounts for single occupancy or no occupancy at all is the way to go.

  9. @dearieme July 22, 2020 at 11:35 am

    +1 Visit town centre if a ‘cars allowed’ road found, pay lots to park, play “Hunt the Beautiful Buildings”

    Want to shop in Primark here? They’re very welcoming /sarc Entrance only by X Street door, Exit only by Y Street door – ~1/2 mile walk round block between

    PS Avoid queuing in nearside lane – risk of parking ticket

    @PJF
    We stopped accepting stuff for neighbours as they never collected it, expected me bring to them. Did they ever bring to me? Nope

  10. Rob
    Reduce or abolish business rates and the landlords just hoover it up.

    Bongo
    The overall situation where business rates are about 5 times the equivalent council tax for the same foot print is a disincentive to owners to create business properties.
    An LVT where residential and commercial pay roughly the same, with no discounts for single occupancy or no occupancy at all is the way to go.

    Rob is right, not bongo

    Property taxes are capitalised so changes in regime are gifts or large one off taxes.
    1. exemption nonsense is nonsense
    2. how much of the incentive to convert office to resi is to use the simpler planning regime, and how much is the huge tax arbitrage where the government lets you switch from a high tax on that property to a low tax on the same property?

  11. Depends on whose valuation you use! And perhaps how up to date it is, given local governments propensity to move snail like

  12. The whole point of internet channels is that they don’t need retail space! But they still need space, plus they need local roads. The problem for government is that it doesn’t know how to value that, much less tax it. Which makes a policy of speeding up the transition (which is pretty much what covid policies will do) seem somewhat stupid.

  13. @ian
    So much bollocks it’s not worth rebutting each one

    Here’s one:
    “An LVT where residential and commercial pay roughly the same, with no discounts for single occupancy or no occupancy at all is the way to go”

    Bollocks. A residential property does not generate income or insist easy access maintained (eg snow), a single occupancy uses fewer services, no occupancy uses almost none

    Do you want a return to 70’s where roofs were removed and buildings left to rot or demolished?

    The one concession I’d make is business rates are too high – but that down to socialist big state idiocy

  14. If you ‘need’ to be on expensive land but your ‘rival’ doesn’t, then should we really call you their “rival”? Wouldn’t “dinosaur” or “extinct” be nearer the mark?

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