Retailers, airports and power stations have topped the list for having the biggest business rates bill in the UK this year, new research reveals.
The 50 largest rate paying sites in England and Wales will hand over £705 million in 2019, up 0.4% on a year ago, despite the actual tax rate rising 2.4% in line with inflation, according to data collated by business rates specialists Altus Group.
Topping the list is London’s Heathrow airport, with a rates bill of £117.96 million – although this was down from £122.15 million a year earlier, meaning the £4 million cut was the biggest reduction by value of any business premise in the country.
Other sites around Heathrow that made the top 50 list also include British Airways’ Terminal 5 building, BA’s world cargo terminal and the airline’s engineering base with bills of £13.8 million, £22.4 million and £13.1 million.
Manchester, Gatwick and Stansted airports also feature in the list.
Business rates are paid by all commercial premises, raising the Treasury around £40 billion a year.
But in recent years businesses – particularly high street retailers – have been calling on the Government to overhaul the system, saying it benefits online operations who typically pay lower rates bills due to not having stores in towns and cities.
The latest figures could add pressure on ministers to act, particularly following a year of bloodbaths on the high street that has seen Debenhams, LK Bennett, HMV and House of Fraser – among others – all going bust in the last 12 months.
Several restaurant chains have also gone under or been forced into cutting rents through CVAs, including Jamie’s Italian, Prezzo, Giraffe and Byron Burgers, with most blaming high business rate bills for contributing to their woes.
Selfridges’ London department store tops the list of retailers with the highest rates bill, hitting £17.4 million this year, followed by Harrods, which will pay £17 million.
John Lewis’s Oxford Street store in London also makes the top 50, with a rates bill of £10.4 million.
Online giant Amazon also sneaks into the list for its London head office, which has a rates bill of £7.2 million for its 15 storey, 600,000 sq ft offices.
Elsewhere, huge factories and power stations enter the list, including EDF’s Sizewell B Power Station, Sellafield and Drax Power Station.
Former nuclear energy site Sellafield is the most expensive power station, with a bill of £26.6 million – although this was down on the £27.6 million paid a year earlier.
The Government could also miss out on £11.9 million due in rates from British Steel for its site in Scunthorpe, Lincs. Last month the business went bust and is now under the control of the Government’s insolvency service, with ministers keen to find a buyer.
TOP 50 BUSINESS RATEPAYERS IN ENGLAND & WALES
RATES PAYABLE 2019/20 (source Altus Group)
HEATHROW AIRPORT LTD, HEATHROW AIRPORT, HOUNSLOW
GATWICK AIRPORT LTD, GATWICK AIRPORT, GATWICK, WEST SUSSEX
SELLAFIELD LIMITED, SELLAFIELD WORKS, SELLAFIELD, SEASCALE, CUMBRIA
SIZEWELL B POWER STATION, SIZEWELL, LEISTON, SUFFOLK
BA ENGINEERING BASE, NO 1 MAINTENANCE AREA, HEATHROW AIRPORT
HEYSHAM 2 POWER STATION, MORECAMBE, LANCS
SELFRIDGES, OXFORD STREET, LONDON
HARRODS, BROMPTON ROAD, LONDON
VODAFONE FIBRE OPTIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORK IN ENGLAND & WALES
THE CHANNEL TUNNEL (WITHIN THE UK), SHAKESPEARE CLIFF, DOVER
MANCHESTER AIRPORT, MANCHESTER
BRITISH AIRWAYS, TERMINAL 5, HEATHROW AIRPORT
HSBC, CANADA SQUARE, LONDON
BA WORLD CARGO TERMINAL, HEATHROW AIRPORT
BBC, BROADCASTING HOUSE, PORTLAND PLACE, LONDON
BAA STANSTED AIRPORT, STANSTED AIRPORT, STANSTED, ESSEX
JP MORGAN, BANK STREET, LONDON
PORT OF FELIXSTOWE, THE DOCK, FELIXSTOWE DOCKS, FELIXSTOWE, SUFFOLK
HOME OFFICE, MARSHAM STREET, LONDON
BRITISH STEEL, BRIGG ROAD, SCUNTHORPE, LINCS
ESSO REFINERY, MARSH LANE, FAWLEY, SOUTHAMPTON
FRANCIS CRICK INSTITUTE, MIDLAND ROAD, LONDON
UBS, BROADGATE, LONDON
DRAX POWER STATION, SELBY, NORTH YORKSHIRE
ST PANCRAS INTERNATIONAL STATION, PANCRAS ROAD, LONDON
GOLMAN SACHS, FLEET STREET, LONDON
HINKLEY POINT B POWER STATION, HINKLEY POINT, STOGURSEY, SOMERSET
JOHN LEWIS, OXFORD STREET, LONDON
CREDIT SUISSE, CABOT SQUARE, LONDON
CITIBANK, CANADA SQUARE, LONDON
GOOGLE, PANCRAS SQUARE, LONDON
THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER, OXFORD ROAD, MANCHESTER
ROYAL LONDON HOSPITAL, WHITECHAPEL ROAD, LONDON
HARTLEPOOL POWER STATION, TEES ROAD, HARTLEPOOL, CLEVELAND
BARCLAYS BANK, CHURCHILL PLACE, CANARY WHARF, LONDON
PORT TALBOT STEELWORKS, PORT TALBOT
THE SECURIY SERVICE, MILLBANK, LONDON
THE BRITISH LIBRARY, EUSTON ROAD, LONDON*
NATIONAL GRID, GRAINLNG, ISLE OF GRAIN, ROCHESTER, KENT
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE, WHITEHALL, LONDON
PEMBROKE POWER STATION, PWLLCROCHAN, PEMBROKE
HEYSHAM 1 POWER STATION, MORECAMBE, LANCS
BEAUFORT INTERNATIONAL, MORE LONDON RIVERSIDE, LONDON
JAGUAR LAND ROVER LTD, LODE LANE, SOLIHULL, WEST MIDLANDS
KPMG, CANADA SQUARE, LONDON
ALLEN & OVERY, BISHOPS SQUARE, BRUSHFIELD STREET, LONDON
PWC, EMBANKMENT PLACE, LONDON
METROPOLITAN POLICE, EMPRESS STATE BUILDING, LILLIE ROAD, LONDON
LINKLATERS, SILK STREET, LONDON
AMAZON, PRINCIPAL PLACE, WORSHIP STREET, LONDON
*registered charity, eligible for 80% mandatory relief