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Lib Dems’ answer to business rates

April 4, 2019 4:09 PM
By Dr Peter Hirst in Congleton Chronicle

Dear Sir,

Concerning your front-page article of last week's Chronicle detailing the serial nonpayment of business rates from a town centre site and the effect on Cheshire East's fi nances, there is another side to this story.

While these payments play an increasingly important part of a council's income, it is also a constant drain on small businesses, especially those working to tight margins.

The Liberal Democrats at their York spring conference voted to support a range of measures to help struggling high streets.

One of these is abolishing business rates and replacing them with a commercial land levy, that is a tax on the value of the land, independent of what is built on it.

This would on average reduce these rates by an estimated 19% for Cheshire East, thus reducing this fi nancial burden on the many small businesses in Congleton.

This would be independent of the value of the building on the land and so reduce the disincentive to invest in the business that would normally increase these rates.

There would be a central levelling mechanism so the total revenue received by the council would not reduce under our proposals.

It would be paid by the owner of the land and so increase the chances of payment when serial businesses rent the property.

Yours faithfully,

(DR) PETER HIRST

Chairman, Congleton Constituency

Liberal Democrats.