Debenhams looks to slash rates bills

Councils targeted alongside landlords

Debenhams is proposing that 30 local authorities accept a 50% cut in their business rates bill, as part of the proposed CVA .

John Webber head of business rates at Colliers International, says the move illustrates how ludicrous is the current business rates regime “It is akin to going with a begging bowl to the person who has just robbed you – asking local authorities to grant business rates reductions – and these reductions if granted are only likely to last for a year and as they are discretionary relief could easily fall foul of state aid limits.”

What is ridiculous is that a 50% plus business rates tax is part of the reason that Debenhams is going through a CVA. So, in effect they are asking for mercy from the perpetrator of their desperate state. The Rateable Values are much too high but the Valuation Office Agency shambolic appeal system means it is practically impossible to do anything about it. Added to that the downward phasing of rates bills means even when a rateable value is reduced the bill hardly changes.”

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