Belfast Telegraph

Time is running out on response to the non-domestic revaluation – Hamilton

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Finance and Personnel

Finance Minister, Simon Hamilton MLA, has reminded business ratepayers that they are running out of time to submit their forms as part of the non-domestic revaluation.

The Minister delivered his message to business ratepayers at an event in the Bann Gallery in Coleraine Borough Council today. The event was hosted by Causeway Chamber of Commerce and Coleraine Borough Council in partnership with Land & Property Services (LPS).

In his address Simon Hamilton said: “Non-domestic rates have been in need of a review for some time now as current rates don’t reflect existing property values.

“It is imperative that business rates are rebalanced to ensure that the burden is shared and distributed fairly. In order for us to have the information to assess fair valuations, input from the business community is critical.

“So far we have received over 22,000 Forms of Return and I would take this opportunity to thank those within the busy community who have taken the time to make these returns. However, I would urge those businesses that haven’t provided their rental information to do so now, time is running out. You, the business community, have been calling for a revaluation for some time now so the success of this revaluation depends on as many businesses as possible to complete the forms.”

Ian Donaghy MBE, President of the Causeway Chamber of Commerce also backed the call for a speedy response from the business community. He said: “It is important that Land & Property Services base their valuation on up to date and accurate information from business and property owners.”

Roger Wilson, Chief Executive of Coleraine Borough Council was also in attendance and commented: “I endorse the message from both the Minister and the Chamber of Commerce that all businesses respond properly to the revaluation survey and thank all those businesses for attending today’s informative event.”

A new Valuation List will be used from April 2015 as the basis for business rate bills. Businesses should have received a paper form by post; alternatively an online form is also available for most property types. All forms are also available to download from the website http://www.reval2015ni.gov.uk/forms.

It is important that businesses submit their form (even a partially completed one); the information will be used to ensure accurate valuations are assessed.

The revaluation website http://www.reval2015ni.gov.uk answers most common queries. Ratepayers with a more specific query about the non-domestic revaluation can call 0300 200 7801 or email info@reval2015ni.gov.uk.

Notes to editors:

1. Business rates are a long established local property tax levied on all non-domestic ratepayers, proportionate to the individual rental value of each property.

2. It is necessary, therefore, to revalue periodically the entire stock of non-domestic property.

3. If most values decrease there will be a corresponding increase in the tax rate (the ‘rate in the pound’), as the purpose of the exercise is redistribution, not increasing overall revenues. Some ratepayers will pay less after revaluation, some more, some the same, depending on relative shifts in rental value since the last revaluation.

4. There are around 72,500 non-domestic properties in Northern Ireland. Non-domestic rates currently contribute around £578 million a year towards regional services (roads, hospitals, schools, etc) and local services provided by District Councils.

5. There are no current plans to carry out a revaluation of domestic properties in Northern Ireland. The last one took place in 2007.

6. For more information visit our dedicated website http://www.reval2015ni.gov.uk. This website will be the key source of information for ratepayers until the exercise completes in 2015.

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