Rating – Are Rates Appeals in No Mans Land?

The recent release of management information and statistics in relation to ratepayer’s experience of the Check Challenge Appeal system (CCA) to date makes illuminating reading.

 

Introduced at the same time as the 2017 Rating Revaluation on 1 April 2017, the new system, abbreviated to CCA introduces a completely new way of appealing business rates assessments. It is broken down into 3 stages. The first stage, Check, is concerned with establishing factual information, and correcting any factual errors. This is, typically, the areas of the property, the presence of air-conditioning, heating, raised floors etc and also, the correct unit of assessment, i.e. whether it is correctly expressed as one or more than one separate valuation.

 

The second stage, Challenge, is where non-factual information is reviewed. This includes the basis of valuation, and the differing valuation approaches adopted for different categories and classes of property. Only once these 2 stages are complete, can the ratepayer go to appeal, involving an application to the independent Valuation Tribunal and the payment of a fee.

 

The new system has been widely condemned as overly complicated and unduly burdensome and requiring ratepayers to provide all the justification they could possibly ever rely on for renegotiating their rating assessment upfront, at the commencement of the process. Any additional information, even if it is directly relevant, cannot be introduced, unless with the express consent of the Valuation Officer.

 

The system also requires ratepayers to register on a Valuation Office sponsored portal and upload supporting information to prove that they have a controlling interest in the relevant property. To date, just under 300,000 properties have been claimed in this way, which is only 15.5% of the assessments in the List. Given that the Valuation Officer had high hopes to be able to tailor the responses and to utilise this resource to generate comparable information, this is very disappointing.

 

Just over 100,000 Checks have been lodged, together with just 7,000 Challenges. Given that at a similar stage on the previous Rating List almost 500,000 appeals had been submitted, it is clear that ratepayers are discouraged from challenging their rating assessments, and exercising their democratic right to fully understand what information has been taken into account in reaching the otherwise unfathomable valuation upon which they are expected to pay rates.

Nik Moore

01604 783001

Posted By:


Tags


Rating – Are Rates Appeals in No Mans Land?

The recent release of management information and statistics in relation to ratepayer’s experience of the Check Challenge Appeal system (CCA) to date makes illuminating reading.   Introduced at the same time as the 2017 Rating Revaluation on 1 April 2017, the new system, abbreviated to CCA introduces a completely new way of appealing business rates…