Petition call to give businesses a break
Following the decision by the Government to delay the revaluation of business rates, one mid-Somerset businessman has launched a campaign to get them to change their mind.
Steve Wilson, landlord of the Kings Head in Wells says the decision to delay the revaluation for two years will cause enormous damage to struggling high street businesses, and has launched an online petition to get the revaluation moving.
"There is one reason for this decision and one reason only," he said.
"It is to give the Government a further two years for the possibility of the economy growing, so they don't face a wholesale downward adjustment of business rates due to decreased business."
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The petition calls for an urgent review of the business rates system.
Mr Wilson said: "The current business rates system is seriously harming small businesses.
"This petition seeks to force a proper review of the rates system, to bring it into line with modern business realities. Unlike other business rates e-petitions, this one is not suggesting a specific action, it is merely suggesting that a proper, independent review is critical if we want to promote small business and innovation."
Mr Wilson says there are three main issues with the business rates system which need to be addressed.
He said: "It is generally based on building size and/or turnover. In the modern business world, neither of these parameters have much bearing on the ability to pay, which is based on profit.
"It is incredibly unfair, with a vast disparity across different business sectors.
"It works on five-yearly reviews, in a world where businesses can see their markets changing almost daily."
Mr Wilson's attempt to revamp the business rates system comes in the same week that Mendip District Council is considering a scheme that will give a 95 per cent business rates discount to rural publicans and petrol stations where they are the only business of that kind in a Mendip village.
The e-petition can be found at http://epetitions.dir ect.gov.uk/petitions/40643.