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Contest business rates bill #1251

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johnmckerrell opened this issue Sep 17, 2019 · 3 comments

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@johnmckerrell
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commented Sep 17, 2019

We have been sent a business rates bill that is very high and is back dated to April 1st. The bill has the rateable value set at £21,250 (of which we pay approximately half) which is much higher than the £12,000 which would be required to get full small business rates relief.

We were not expecting this. We had so far been working to estimations as the re-rating of the building hadn't been completed but as an example the whole building had previously been rated at a value of £18,250 so if that value for the whole building had even doubled, our portion would still be less than £12k. As it is, our floor alone has been rated higher.

The bill sets out a payment plan that has us paying ~£2085 each month until February and also ~£11.5k within 14 days. This would be impossible for us to pay.

It seems there's a few ways that we can tackle this. We can contest the valuation, for example we are being charged over £50/square metre whereas all but one of the other properties on our road are £30 or under so this is clearly a very high rating for the area. We can also look at re-rating so that the soundproof room is considered a separate unit and the tenants become liable themselves, for which they would get full small business rates relief. The hope would be that we can get our rating down enough to get under the relief limit.

We can also apply for discretionary relief as a non-profit, this is separately covered under #1250 . We have previously applied for this and been turned down. In theory not a lot has changed about our business in this time but we have a higher profile and are in a regeneration area so hopefully we would have a better chance (we're still not limited by guarantee though, see #321 ).

@johnmckerrell will call to find out what we can do in the short term to avoid having to pay the large amounts straight away and to confirm whether we will automatically fail to get discretionary relief or not. @johnmckerrell also incidentally has a meeting with local councillors soon so will raise it there.

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commented Sep 17, 2019

VOA 03000 501 501

Can't put a stop on it when it's at bill stage, because "we should have told them when we moved". Certainly not for contesting the valuation but if we do apply for discretionary relief too then I think the team who receive that will be able to put the pause on. They can be contacted at: business.unit@liverpool.gov.uk

Also we should be able to apply for discretionary relief even though we've been rejected in the past.

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commented Sep 26, 2019

I've emailed Mason Owen who perform contesting business rates as a service to find out if they can help us and how much they'd charge.

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commented Oct 17, 2019

I've also emailed Andrew Gardner surveyors for a quote, once that comes back we'll decide between him and Mason Owen and make a start!

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