Empty Property Rates Extension – A Remarkable Result for BCA

Extensive lobbying by the BCA has paid off as the Chancellor announced in the pre-budget report that the empty property rate relief is to be extended until 2011, with the rateable value threshold raised from £15,000 to £18,000 rateable value (RV). BCA Lobbied Government to Rethink Empty Property Rates (EPR) Legislation.

The decision from the Treasury follows last month’s BCA House of Commons reception where cross-party MPs were urged to extend the exemption into the next budget report as well as raise the EPR threshold from £15,000 RV to £18,000 RV.

The BCA argued that the Government’s justification for charging full rates on empty properties was fundamentally unsound and has had far reaching effect on the membership and the wider flexible space market.

Anne Corstorphine, Managing Director of City Spirit St Paul’s and Board member of The Business Centre Association (BCA) comments: “Empty property rates have had a crippling effect on the business centre sector and it is a triumph for Jennifer Brooke, Executive Director, the BCA, and its members that the Chancellor has taken measures to limit the damaging impact of this tax.”

“The EPR decision should stimulate the market and encourage the development of new flexible space. This in turn will help ease the financial pressures for SME’s and the flexible space sector.”

Phil Wilson MP says of the decision: “I have worked closely with the BCA to ensure that the rateable value was raised in the pre-budget report. It is reassuring that the Chancellor has supported small businesses as well as the flexible space sector.”

“It is key, that today’s decision on empty property rates does not become a temporary measure and I will continue to lobby on behalf of my constituents and the BCA that the current £18,000 RV be written into the statute books.”

Sandra Gidley MP, comments: “The decision on empty property rates is a victory for small businesses and the wider commercial property market. Empty property rates are a tax on hardship, taxing individuals and companies on assets that generate no income.

Both the flexible space market and UK plc will benefit from the Chancellor’s commitment to extend EPR to 20-10-11 as well as the increase to £18,000 RV. It is encouraging that the Government is supporting businesses during this difficult economic period.”

Anne Corstorphine is the Managing Director of City Spirit St Paul’s, leading serviced office provider based in St Paul’s Square, Birmingham visit www.cityspiritstpauls.co.uk)

The BCA is the only UK trade association representing the business centre and managed workspace industry. Established in 1989, it specialises in providing support and guidance to owners and operators of centres, while setting industry standards and encouraging a network of excellence.

The BCA also provides an invaluable advice and location finder service for potential users of business centres and managed workspace with more than 800 member locations and 500,000 workstations, incorporating 40m sq ft of managed office space around the UK, ranging from small independent to large international operators, both in city centre and out of town business park locations, the Association is guaranteed to find the perfect workspace for your business.

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