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Firms still waiting for business rate appeals.

MORE than 133,000 companies are still waiting for an appeal over their business rates valuation from 2010 to be resolved, it has been revealed.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said more than one million challenges to business rates bills have been received over the past eight years.

The LGA said councils have been forced to divert PS2.5bn from stretched local services over the past five years to cover the risk of business rates appeals, as they have to fund half the cost of any backdated refunds.

Ahead of a Westminster Hall debate on business rates, the LGA is calling on the Government to take the financial risk from business rates appeals away from local government.

John Fuller, vice chairman of the LGA's Resources Board, said: "Ongoing delays in tackling business rate appeals from 2010 are heaping further financial uncertainty and pressure on our local services at a time when every penny counts to give councils the best chance of protecting services over the next few years. It is right that a business is able to challenge their valuation if they genuinely believe it to be incorrect.

"Despite not setting business rates or ruling on appeals, councils are having to take billions of pounds away from already stretched local services, such as adult social care, protecting children and supporting businesses and boosting local growth, to cover the financial risk and uncertainty arising from this backlog of appeals. This is completely unfair.

"As we move towards a system where councils will keep more of the business rates they collect locally, communities need to be protected from the shifting of resources to address the risk of business rates appeals."

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 13, 2018
Words:278
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