Small business rate exemptions are extended to 2015-16 in Wales

The small business rate relief scheme is being extended for another year, Economy Minister Edwina Hart has said.

It means business rates do not have to be paid on properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less.

Lower levels of relief are available to those with values of up to £12,000. England has a similar scheme.

Business rates will be fully devolved to Wales in April, but Mrs Hart said she had no plans to vary them in the first year.

Business rates: Heathrow, the BBC and Harrods among hardest hit

Britain’s biggest airport will pay at least £164m, with power stations, government departments, banks and department stores also facing steep bills.

Heathrow, the BBC and Harrods are among those to be hit with the biggest business rates this year, with Britain’s biggest airport paying at least £64m.

Occupants of England’s 50 most valuable business premises, with a total rateable value of £1.36bn, will be charged a combined sum of £672m, according to calculations by the rates campaigner Paul Turner-Mitchell.

Turner-Mitchel said: “The level of property tax paid by businesses is the highest of any G7 nation, OECD country or EU member state. Property taxes stifle investment and they contribute to businesses closing. “He said 66% of the properties featured on the list had appealed against their business rates.

As well as airports, the top 50 list features power stations, government properties, banks and departments stores such as Harrods and John Lewis.

Turner-Mitchell said: “The government’s review must be extended to look at not only the system but the amount the actual system generates.

“Property tax for business needs to be looked at more holistically within the overall context of the economy and other taxes not simply as a guaranteed revenue stream.”

Posted on: 10/02/2015