Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plan to Cut Number of Rating Appeals

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plan to Cut Number of Rating Appeals

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Easton

We have heard before that the Government wants to reduce the number of appeals made against new rating assessments, or at least frivolous appeals, leaving only those with a prospect of success to deal with.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA), which sets rateable values, published the draft rating list on October 1, 2004, for all non-domestic properties in England and Wales.

Ratepayers were able to see what their new rateable value was going to be, and for the first time a valuation showing how the VOA had arrived at their rateable value.

Occupiers of properties valued by reference to trade did not get a summary valuation, this because the valuations are available on the VOA website for all to see.

This was a major step forward for the VOA and has been widely praised by ratepayers and their advisers. It has not, however, gone far enough because the rental evidence that the VOA have used to arrive at your new rateable value has not been published.

Whilst you can compare your new rateable value with those of your neighbours and form a view on how they are relative to each other, without the rental evidence it is not possible to say whether your new rating assessment is correct or not. What should you do?

You can employ a qualified rating consultant to carry out a rating valuation for you. There may be a charge. Alternatively, you can employ a qualified rating consultant to appeal your rating assessment.

The Government announced a further twist in their aim to reduce the number of appeals they receive against new assessments i.e. limit the number of times you can appeal. At present you can appeal against a new rating assessment as often as you want. In practical terms this may be between, say, one and three times.

The proposal by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) is to restrict the number of appeals against the new April 1, 2005, rateable value to one.

Rating surveyors are worried that rather than reduce the number of appeals the new measures proposed will increase the appeal rate. …

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