Ruffley hits out at VOA over 50 percent business rate increase in Bury St Edmunds

Saturday, 24 October, 2009

David Ruffley MP has this week hit out at the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) over business rate increases for shops and premises in parts of Bury St Edmunds.

Most of the business premises in the town saw their rateable value increase by around 20 percent when the VOA announced the 2010 rateable values. However many shops and premises in the Hatter Street and Churchgate Street area have seen increases approaching 50 percent on their 2005 valuation.

It will follow that these premises will see similar increases in the business rates they pay next year. Last year business rates for these premises were calculated at 46p for every £1 of the premises rateable value.

David said:

'There have been some shocking increases in the rateable value of shops and premises in Hatter Street and Churchgate Street. While most of Bury St Edmunds has seen a not insignificant increase of 20 percent, businesses in this part of our town's historic core are seeing increase approaching 50 percent.

'The rateable value of a premises determines the level of business rates the proprietor will pay. Last year these were calculated at 46p in the pound. It follows that most premises in this part of Bury St Edmunds will be seeing business rate increases of several thousand pounds next year.

'The impact of this increase cannot be underestimated. Most of the shops in this area of Bury St Edmunds are independently run small businesses. I am quite simply horrified that the VOA expects them to absorb 50 percent increases in their business rates during a recession.

'This is not a small increase- the vast majority of businesses will be paying out several thousand pounds more every year. I would urge any business in this part of Bury St Edmunds, who has been hit with this unjust hike in their business rates, to lodge an immediate appeal with the VOA'