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Deferred business rates overhaul sees e-petition launched.

An international property company is calling on Birmingham businesses to sign a petition to stop the Government's planned postponement of the 2015 business rates revaluation.

Colliers International has started an e-petition on the Government website www.direct.gov.uk.

If the delay is implemented, businesses will continue to pay business rates based on property values in 2008, instead of current values, which are considerably less.

For the retail sector in particular this could have a devastating impact, Colliers said.

The West Midlands has seen a 23 per cent fall in rental value from 2008 to 2012, with the worst hit area, West Bromwich, seeing a drop of 41 per cent. Solihull saw the smallest fall at seven per cent.

John Webber, Colliers International's Birmingham-based national head of rating, said: "Struggling businesses have been eagerly awaiting the 2015 revaluation as a relief from high rates bills.

"Having it deferred until 2017 simply means that any decreases in their bills or chance of clawing much needed money back from the Government will have to be deferred.

"And while it is stating that it won't increase rate bills more than inflation, postposing the revaluation means many businesses are being denied decreases in real terms."

Brandon Lewis MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said the decision will "avoid local firms and local shops facing unexpected hikes in their rates bills" and will give them "tax stability" to help them grow.

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John Webber, Colliers Internationalis national head of rating
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 22, 2012
Words:251
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