In response to the new report by the Communities and Local Government committee on business rates devolution (published today), Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive of Centre for cities, said:
“The Committee is absolutely right to highlight the need for reforms in the current business rates system, with the problem of backdated appeals just one of a number of issues which should be addressed before the tax is devolved in 2020. Alongside that, there should be more frequent valuations of properties, and the requirement for business rates to generate a fixed yield each year should be replaced with a fixed rate system, to make the system more predictable, accurate and efficient.
“The other big question raised by the Committee is the trade-off between offering places incentives to boost their tax base and retaining some redistribution. Our analysis shows that the best way to grow the overall local government funding pot is if Government prioritises giving places sharp incentives to grow, rewarding them for taking difficult political decisions by allowing them to retain more of the tax proceeds from doing so. That would encourage places to grow their economies, while also increasing the money for much-needed redistribution to places with weaker economies.”
Notes to editors:
Head of Communications