The Department of Finance (DoF) has today launched a public consultation on the review of business rates. Responses will be used to help DoF be ready with updated advice for the return of Ministers and architects have an opportunity to help shape the advice which will be given. The review was announced by DoF in May 2019 and is intended to ensure “our business rates system is effective and fair while raising the funds needed to support Northern Ireland’s key services”.
The Department of Finance is seeking views on business rates and specifically on the following questions:
- How can revenues from district and regional rates be raised in a way that is fair and equitable and without placing an unacceptable burden on business ratepayers?
- What ways can be found to widen the tax base that could facilitate a lower level of business rates?
- How can a fair distribution between district rates and regional rates be sustained?
- How can a fair distribution between non-domestic and domestic rates be sustained?
- What reliefs and supports are necessary and might be introduced, changed or ended, targeted in line with Executive priorities and recognising ability to pay?
- What alternative taxation options should be considered to complement or partially replace property based non-domestic rates and to allow for lower levels of revenue from business rates?
Of particular interest to architects will be what reliefs and supports are necessary and how these might be altered to benefit urban generation, improving the vibrancy of our high streets and encouraging buildings back into use.
The consultation documents can be viewed here and the consultation will close on 11 November 2019,