Non-domestic Rates: Garages and Petrol Stations

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 10th February 2010.

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Photo of Paul Beresford Paul Beresford Conservative, Mole Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which petrol retail outlets were used in the assessment of the new rateable values for the purpose of calculating the business rate to come into effect on 1 April 2010; and what the (a) location and (b) region was of each.

Photo of Barbara Follett Barbara Follett Minister of State (the East of England), Regional Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (the East of England), Department for Communities and Local Government

Broadly speaking, rateable value represents the annual rental value of the property. For the 2010 business rates revaluation, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) collected and examined 1,300 rents on petrol filling stations. This evidence was then filtered down to those rents that best reflected the rateable value assumptions and were agreed closest to the valuation date of 1 April 2008. There are around 100 of these key rents for petrol filling stations of which around 60 per cent. are from independent operators.

Section 18 (1) of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 provides that Revenue and Customs officials may not disclose information which is held by them in connection with their function. As a result, valuation officers cannot disclose any details of the key rents from which the ratepayers or the properties concerned could be identified.

The key rents can be summarised by region in England as follows:

Region Number of key rents
East Midlands 11
East of England 11
London 4
North East 4
North West 17
South East 15
South West 16
West Midlands 7
Yorkshire and Humberside 12

The five-yearly business rates revaluations make sure each business pays its fair contribution and no more and will not raise a single extra penny for Government. Over a million properties will see their business rate liabilities come down as a result of revaluation.

In the last five years, alongside rising petrol prices and increasing turnover, the rents paid on many petrol filling stations have grown. It is only fair to all ratepayers this is reflected in rate bills. The Government have put in place a £2 billion relief scheme to limit the impact on the minority with bill increases, which in 2010-11 will ensure no business property sees its rates bill increase by more than 11 per cent. as a result of the revaluation, with maximum increases capped at just 3.5 per cent. for small properties. That is on top of the wider support available to help ease business pressures including discounted rate bills for small businesses and deferring tax payments.

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