Non-Domestic Rates: Ports

Treasury written question – answered on 11th January 2010.

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Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government), Deputy Chair, Conservative Party

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason the Valuation Office Agency (a) has removed all waterfront hereditaments in ports in Hull from the new business rates rating assessment regime and restored them to the competent harbour authorities assessment regime and (b) has not taken a similar approach in other ports.

Photo of Ian Pearson Ian Pearson Economic Secretary, HM Treasury

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to Mr. Mitchell on 12 November 2009, Hansard, column 877W.

The reason that some separately assessed property within the port of Hull has been merged with the assessment for the statutory port is that new information has been provided and there has been agreement of the facts between the parties. This reflects the success of the "fast-track" appeals process applied by the Valuation Office Agency to cases involving a significant and unexpected backdated liability. Where ratepayers co-operate and provide the information requested, the agency has been able to review the rating lists and make amendments to reflect new information that has a material affect on the assessment.

The same approach has been applied at other ports. Where changes have not been made and properties continue to be separately assessed for business rates this is either because the facts do not support the case for change or the parties have not agreed the facts that may still prove material.

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