Businesses in Monmouthshire faced a double whammy of business rate increases last year and the impact on small businesses, particularly in the high streets of Monmouth, Chepstow, Abergavenny and Usk has been damaging.
Business rate revaluations usually take place every five years and the Valuation Office Agency conducted a revaluation of all non-domestic properties, which came into force in April 2017. The revaluation adjusts the rateable value of properties to reflect changes in the property market and to redistribute business rates liabilities rather than increase revenue.
The Welsh Government pledged that across Wales, the revaluation would be revenue-neutral. However, as the overall rateable value of properties in Wales had fallen, the Welsh Government also increased the multiplier from April 2017.
But in Monmouthshire, rateable values from the last valuation in 2010 had not decreased. Far from it:
Retail properties in Monmouthshire had seen an average increase in their rateable value of 10%
Offices in Monmouthshire had seen an average increase in their rateable value of 10.5%
Other commercial properties had seen an average increase in their rateable value of 13.5%
This means a number of businesses in Monmouthshire faced a ‘double-whammy’ in April 2017 of a significant increase in their business rates valuation and the increase the business rate multiplier. Some businesses are being hit even harder because their revaluation has pushed them over the £12,000 threshold and are now no longer eligible for small business rate relief.
Some Monmouthshire businesses saw an increase in their business rates of 200%!!
Nick Ramsay thinks these rate rises were grossly unfair and did all he could to fight them. Now, Nick is using his clout in the Welsh Assembly to put pressure on the Welsh Government to offer additional support to small businesses and campaign for proper business rate reform.
Nick believes the business rate multiplier should be based on local trends, so Monmouthshire firms aren’t plugging the gap for a loss of revenue due to a fall in rateable values in other parts of Wales.