Local news

Business rate increases set to hit local pubs hard

Written by John Bishop


Background: Come April 2017 pubs in St Albans and indeed elsewhere in Herts will be waiting nervously for their annual rates demand. Their apprehension is well founded. Rateable values that have been published for the majority of pubs in the city have increased enormously – the Boot Inn has been hit with a increase in rateable value of over 288% and the average increase in St Albans is 57%. Of 37 pubs – 27 have had large increases. These increases it should be noted are not based on past profitability.

South Herts CAMRA’s position on the issue is very clear – whilst we acknowledge that the increase in rateable value is not necessarily linked to a similar percentage increase that pubs may receive in their rates, a large increase in RV for pubs will inevitably lead to a huge increase in business rates* for pubs in the city and therefore, cannot be good for pub viability in St Albans city or indeed elsewhere. We call on everyone concerned about the protection our national pub heritage and pub viability to do all they can to oppose these monstrous increases, to write to their MP and local councillor urging them to do whatever they can to oppose the inflation busting increases, to join in demonstrations against the increase and thus help to ensure that in these times of particular economic uncertainty that we preserve the viability of our public houses before they are lost for ever.

* To calculate business rates you need to multiply the rateable value for your business with the ‘multiplier’, set by government. Rateable value is the value given on a premises by the Valuation Office Agency. Multipliers are reviewed every year in line with inflation.

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