Maughan Mitchell cannot see any reason why this report should be delayed – the only possible reasoning can be it allows the Government to prepare it’s response.

This Government has good form in kicking problems down the road, delaying the 2015 Rating List to 2017 and the 2022 Rating List, proposed to be brought forward to 2021, back to 2023, to the detriment of ratepayers who were paying above the odds.

Everyone involved in the Business Rates system knows it is no longer fit for purpose –

The tax system penalises those who need relatively expensive retail space, ahead of the those who trade online and don’t.

The transitional arrangements system and delays to rating revaluations have stopped ratepayers, stuck with too high valuations, receiving fair tax bills.

The appeals system stops ratepayers receiving fair valuations, as it starts with the assumption that rating valuations are correct and puts huge onus on ratepayers to prove that is not the case, with a lot of red tape along the way. The Valuation Tribunal itself spoke about the clear conflict to us in a recent VT hearing, mentioning the problem of the VO protecting loss in Rateable Value, while trying to maintain a ‘Fair and Accurate List’ and the burden being on the ratepayer to prove RV’s are wrong – if the RV is wrong, but the ratepayer cannot prove it, they are stuck with a wrong valuation!

It has been obvious for quite some time now, to all involved in the rating system, that it is not fit for purpose and fundamental change is needed. The question is, is this government brave enough to deal with the issue.