19/09/2019

NI Firms Urged To Have Their Say On Business Rates

Non-domestic rate payers across Northern Ireland are urged to ensure their voice is heard in the public consultation on local business rates.

The Department of Finance launched the consultation on Monday 16 September as the next step in its "full and comprehensive" rates review.

Land & Property Services collects over £1.34 billion each year under the current system, which goes towards the funding of public services.

Announced in May, the review followed complaints of an antiquated and not fit for purpose non-domestic rating system that was a burden for many local companies.

Submissions will be welcomed until Monday 11 November. A rates review team from The Department of Finance will be attending a series of events organised by councils, chambers of commerce and other organisations across Northern Ireland as part of the process.

Encouraging local firms to have their say, DUP MLA Jonathan Buckley said the review will have a significant impact on equity and fairness within the system.

The Upper Bann MLA commented: "This will be a significant issue for many businesses and is something that has been raised in the past. There will also be an examination of existing reliefs and exemptions.
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"It is important that businesses have their say in this consultation process and make their voice heard. The review includes questions such as how the tax base can be widened to facilitate a lower level of business rates, and this allows input which can benefit both businesses and the wider economy if there is greater revenue raised to sustain our public services."

Launching the consultation, the Department's Permanent Secretary Sue Gray said: "This Review is about looking at the current position and making recommendations to ensure that our business rates system is effective and fair while raising the funds needed to support Northern Ireland's key services.

"The business rates system, together with its suite of support measures, needs to be positioned to respond to changing marketplaces and local economic conditions.

"What we need now is for business ratepayers, business and trade organisations, local government and all interested parties to engage with us and put forward their perspectives, ideas and opinions."

Anyone can take part in the consultation, but submissions from business owners and other non-domestic rate payers are particularly encouraged. Have your say here.



(JG/CM)

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