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Small firms fear extra tax burdens

27 January 2009
Categories: News , Business rates
Call for amendments to Business Rate Supplements Bill

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has expressed concern that the forthcoming Business Rate Supplements Bill will impose extra tax burdens on firms.

The organisation has suggested a series of amendments to ‘soften the blow’ of the legislation – and it has insisted that small businesses have a say on all projects that will be subsidised by a supplementary tax currently being considered as part of the bill.

The supplement would grant local authorities the power to raise an extra 2p from every £1 on the national business rates.

The FSB is looking for guarantees that:

  • the supplement will only be spent on economic development;
  • firms will be consulted and have a vote on all supplements, followed by an independent review on how the money is spent;
  • the public sector will also contribute;
  • properties liable for business rates with a rateable value of £50,000 or less will be exempt; and
  • the £50,000 threshold will be reconsidered once the property market improves.

The trade body’s national chairman, John Wright, said: ‘With small business failures entering the hundreds each day and taking thousands of jobs with them, it seems counterproductive to introduce a new tax.

‘However, if business owners are to pay this supplement, it is important that they have a say on where it goes.

‘This revenue must be ring-fenced for economic development, rather than to shore up Government infrastructure projects and local council budgets.’

Categories: News , Business rates
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