iii) By taxing commercial property transactions, Non-Residential
Stamp Duty is an unwelcome burden on businesses that want
to acquire or change premises, with the result that commercial
property is not allocated efficiently.
Conference notes the proposals to replace Business Rates in the
report Replacing the Broken Business Rates System: Taxing Land, Not
Investment and calls for:
a) The replacement of Business Rates in England (currently set at
a rate of 49.3p per pound) with a Commercial Landowner Levy
(CLL) set at a rate of 59p per pound but based solely on the land
value of commercial sites rather than their entire capital value,
thereby stimulating investment, and shifting the burden of
taxation from tenants to landowners.
b) The immediate abolition of Non-Residential Stamp Duty, thereby
improving the efficiency of the commercial property market and
making life simpler for businesses that want to own or change
c) Ending discounts for empty and derelict premises and allowing
councils to tax unfinished commercial developments beyond
a reasonable construction period, increasing the supply of
commercial property and reducing rents.
d) Abolishing the current system of Small Business Rates Relief -
much of which is absorbed by landlords through higher rents
- and replacing it with a doubled Employment Allowance, giving
every employer a £3,000 tax cut by reducing their National
Insurance bills, and providing a boost to wages and employment.
e) Existing relief for agricultural land to be maintained; relief for
charities to be protected except in the case of private schools
and private healthcare.
f) Local authority revenues from Business Rates to be protected
under the CLL through an adjustment to the redistribution
formula, so that tax cuts for businesses do not mean lower
revenues for those local authorities.
g) The transition from Business Rates to the CLL to take place over
4 years, with bills shifting gradually from a property to a land
value basis and incidence moved to landlords when contracts
are renewed or at rent reviews.
h) Annual revaluations of commercial land values by the Valuation
Office Agency and the completion of a comprehensive and
publicly-accessible Land Registry.
Monday 17 September
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