When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
Businesses want more for their rates
INDEPENDENT retailers have said they would like more for their money because business rates are ‘daylight robbery’.
Town centre shop owners say paying the fee is a ‘struggle’ and are asking for better value.
Owner of Hardy’s Designer Jewellery in South Street, James Mortimer, said that independent businesses such as him pay around £17,500 in rates each year.
He said it is enough to cripple some businesses and that he’d like to get more for his money, like refuse collection.
He said: “We work really hard and these rates are so high that it is a struggle to pay them for some of us.
“I would like to get more for my money and especially our refuse taken.”
Refuse collection is not included in business rates and companies must pay for a commercial service, or arrange collections by the Dorset Waste Partnership.
A spokesman said that businesses had a legal duty of care to dispose of waste properly and yearly leaflets were sent out explaining this is not included in the rates.
James Barwick, of Harmony Music, said: “I don’t think I get anything for the rates that I pay. We are in a private shopping centre. All we seem to get is the emergency services.
“And if the breakdown they give us for the percentage that goes towards the emergency services is right, where does the rest go? I think it’s daylight robbery.”
Another, who did not wish to be named, said: “I don’t think we’re getting value for money. If you look at how much we’re paying and what we seem to be getting out of it, you would see that.
“They want people to come and set up businesses but where’s the help?”
Phil Gordon, project director of Dorchester BID said that any town centre businesses that are struggling with paying rates can get advice from the BID about business rate exceptions.
Services included in business rates include transport, street lighting, economic regeneration, highways and planning.
Councillor Robert Gould, Leader of West Dorset District Council, said: “We are working hard to offer as much support to local businesses as we can and we do offer business rate relief to those businesses which are eligible.
“Central government determines how much businesses have to pay and how much is retained by local councils.
“The district council collects business rates but pays a large proportion of this amount to central government.
“Business rates are a form of local taxation and not a direct payment for services. Both the district and county council receive a proportion of the money collected, which goes towards the provision of council services.”
He added that information on rate relief for business rates can be found at dorsetforyou.com/ business-rates/rate-relief.
• WEST Dorset District Council has quashed a rumour that shops at Brewery Square do not pay business rates.
Many retailers in Dorchester were under the false impression that the shops in the new retail development have been given a temporary exception from the rates.
A spokesperson for WDDC confirmed that no business in Brewery Square has been awarded any exceptions.
• Who pays business rates?
The occupier of the non-domestic property normally pays the business rates.
Usually this is the owner-occupier or the leaseholder.
The council works out the business rate bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the multiplier which the government sets each year.
All business properties have a rateable value, determined by the Valuation Office Agency of Inland Revenue.
The government changes the multiplier every year in line with inflation. By law, the multiplier cannot go up more than inflation, except in the year of a revaluation.
The non-domestic rates collected by billing authorities are paid into a central pool and redistributed to County and Borough Councils and Police Authorities.
Comments are closed on this article.