Will Schools Benefit from Business Rates Appeals?
Within the Education sector, many schools are having to weigh up the impact their rates bills will have, and whether the school's business rates are worth appealing.
The Government however is concerned there are too many appeals in the rating system, thus causing unnecessary delays, and in an attempt to reduce the number of appeals the Government is introducing a new Check, Challenge, Appeal (CCA) system.
The new, Check, Challenge and Appeal system puts the burden of proof firmly on the ratepayer.
At the Check stage, the ratepayer will have one opportunity to validate the facts in the entry by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). At this stage, it is up to the ratepayer to agree with the facts or make corrections.
The ratepayer can then only start the Challenge process within four months of completing the Check, but it can take up to 18 months to conclude, meaning the whole process, up to the VOA’s decision, is lengthy.
For the Challenge, the ratepayer must give substantive reasons, and must provide comprehensive supporting evidence. The VOA also requires that the ratepayer submits an alternative valuation.
What changes are expected for the Education sector?
Schools are facing a heavy burden, as they face budget shortfalls and stretched administrative resources. Current research shows that average rateable values for many schools and colleges could increase by approximately 26%, with some facing increases much greater. Small to medium sized schools and those in the South East of England for example, will bear the brunt of these increases. With the uniform business rate multiplier in 2017/18 at 47.9p, many schools will be seeing their rates bills rising significantly.
How can I appeal my rates?
If you’d like some advice, or further information on your rates liability and its impact upon your school, then contact leading education rates specialists, the Beattie Partnership who were instrumental in agreeing the ‘Public and Independent Schools Practise Note’ on the last Rating List with the Valuation Office. With offices in both London and Manchester, The Beattie Partnership are perfectly placed to attend to your rates requirements.
The Beattie Partnership can be contacted on 0161 228 2224, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Be proactive, be prepared, be represented.