Following the belated introduction of the new rating appeal regulations ratepayers will be forgiven for thinking that the system of rateable value assessment and appeal has already been vandalised and damaged beyond repair, but that no discernible reconstruction is likely to take place for a number of financial years. At the same time any prospect of quick remedies for hard hit taxpayers with heavy and erroneous rating assessments has now disappeared.
In his budget speech the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, went out of his way to confirm that the system was too tax lucrative to be abolished and once again kicked the reform ‘can’ well down the road to nowhere. In the interim the 2017 rating revaluation has imposed changes in process that will make it more difficult for small and large manufacturing businesses, retailers, leisure occupiers, service providers and major distributors alike to correct their rates overhead. Rateable Value assessments are supposed to represent a building's rental value at 1 April 2015 (pre-Brexit).
The rating appeals regime in the UK is about to change and Montagu Evans believe that it is not that the adjudication process will become blunt, because it is already impossible to achieve objective dispute resolution, but rather that there will be significant new barriers in place for a ratepayer to actually arrive at the formal appeal stage.