Friday, 6 November 2009

AM calls on Assembly to halt rate uncertainty

Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies says local companies must have their business rates uncertainty put to an end.

Commercial properties from petrol stations to post offices have just received their five-yearly revaluation notice on which their new rates bill will be decided. On average businesses in Pembrokeshire are looking at a hike of at least 30%.

But they won’t know until next Spring what the final bill will be.

“I have heard from a number of businesses who are very concerned about the future,” said Mr Davies.

“Many are facing an uncertain time as their values have been increased vastly. They are finding it impossible to plan ahead as they don’t know yet how that will translate into their final bill.”

Mr Davies has heard of at least one business which has put plans to relocate to a better high street location on hold because of the situation.

“They just cannot budget for the hikes. No one wants to take on new premises without knowing just how bad the bills will be,” added Mr Davies.

He is now calling on the Welsh Labour-Plaid administration to follow the example of the UK Government and raise the threshold at which businesses qualify for rate relief.

“Raising the rateable value threshold upwards would help some of the 40,000 businesses across the country which will see business rates rise next year,” said Mr Davies. “I would like to see it raised at least in line with England.”


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