Alton Towers’ rating appeal dismissed

In 2015, following the tragic crash on its "Smiler" ride, visitor numbers to Alton Towers fell significantly. The ratepayer, Merlin Entertainments, sought a reduction in its rating assessment on the basis that the fall in numbers represented a "material change of circumstances". The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has dismissed the ratepayer's appeal, and its decision offers important guidance on identifying when changes fall within the category of "material changes", justifying an alteration to a rating assessment, and when they do not. ...Read More

Staircase tax reversal becomes law

The legislation to reverse the effects of the Supreme Court judgment in Woolway (VO) v Mazars LLP (2015) has become law. The Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act provides that, where two or more hereditaments occupied or owned by the same person meet certain conditions as to contiguity, those hereditaments may be treated for the purposes of non-domestic rating as one hereditament. ...Read More

Plant nurseries exempt from rates

The Non-Domestic Rating (Nursery Grounds) Act 2018 received the Royal Assent on 1 November 2018. Its effect is to exempt from rates buildings which are used as plant nurseries, even if those buildings are not attached to agricultural land. ...Read More

Budget 2018 – Business Rates

The Budget 2018 introduces some new business rates reliefs, including a one-third business rates discount for smaller shops for two years from 2019, but shows no sign of addressing the fundamental problems that beset the business rates regime - which are an excessively high tax rates and an overly complex system. ...Read More

Business rates appeal struck out

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has struck out an appeal made by a ratepayer because the Appellant failed to provide a Statement of Case to support its appeal. The decision is one of a series of Upper Tribunal decisions which appear to seek to reshape the way in which appeals against business rates assessments are conducted. ...Read More