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The UK Government should reform the business rates (commercial property tax) system in the upcoming Budget to support long-term business investment, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has said.
The business group said that the current system creates a number of "perverse incentives" for business location, property improvement, and plant and machinery investment.
It said that Chancellor Philip Hammond should abandon the fiscal neutrality principle in business rates reform; bring forward the switch from basing liability on the Retail Prices Index to the Consumer Price Index, currently planned for April 2020, to April 2017; remove all plant and machinery from the valuation of property for business rates purposes; and drop proposals to restrict the ability of the Valuation Tribunal for England to order changes to business rates liabilities.
"The current rates system is broken, and despite attempts by successive governments to introduce marginal reforms, the fundamental unfairness of business rates remains," said Director General Adam Marshall. "We're calling for steps to be introduced which would help alleviate some of the excessive pressure put on businesses by rates."
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