This report claims that the current system of local business rates is outdated and in need of a radical overhaul to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
The report argues that although the Uniform Business Rate (UBR) raises over £19 billion a year across the UK, the current system of relief and exemptions from business rates is in need of modernisation. In particular, the UBR does nothing to encourage firms to respond to the environmental and regeneration goals of modern policy, a situation that urgently needs to change.
The authors of the report question the rationale behind relief such as the empty property relief, which costs £1.1billion a year and call for this money to be used instead to incentivise business to invest in local regeneration (‘place shaping’) and to meet environmental challenges. The authors also argue for the introduction of a new ‘Green Buildings’ relief to encourage firms to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings.