The Booksellers Association has said it is concerned by the government's decision to postpone its planned business rates revaluation.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick yesterday (6th May) announced the revaluation would no longer take place in 2021, in a measure said to be intended to reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the pandemic.
Legislation had been introduced to bring the revaluation forward by one year, from 2022 to 2021, but the economic impact of the virus was cited as a reason to ensure "businesses have greater certainty during this time."
Jenrick said: "We have listened to businesses and their concerns about the timing of the 2021 business rates revaluation and have acted to end that uncertainty by postponing the change.
"Now is the time for us to continue to focus on supporting businesses affected by the pandemic, including through our unprecedented package of almost £10bn in business rates relief."
Laura McCormack, head of policy and public affairs at the BA, said: “The BA has lobbied on behalf of its members for the revaluation of business rates in the UK for a number of years.
"While we welcome many of the measures that the Government has introduced to support retailers at this immensely difficult time, that high street stores must continue to be subject to a rates system which favours online businesses, particularly at a time when those businesses are already at a considerable advantage, is concerning, and we will continue to push for the government to take action on this issue.”
A revaluation reviews the rateable values of all business and other "non-domestic property" in England at a particular point in time, and is conducted to "maintain fairness in the system by redistributing the total amount payable in business rates, reflecting changes in the property market."
Last year the BA joined with other retailers in demanding large-scale reform of the system to save the high street.
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