Debate Magazine

Can Someone Tell Me the Truth About This?

Posted on the 12 July 2019 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

Madeleine Grant, on High Streets, wrote this
Our business rates, levied on the rental value of the premises, penalise physical shops in favour of e-commerce and price many out of trading on the high street altogether. Charity shops are exempted from paying the majority of these fees, which explains their proliferation in recent years. Any relief here would be of great assistance to Britain’s ailing high street, as would a rethink of other ill-advised tax policies.

First of all, I don't see anything wrong with e-commerce not paying the same rates. They use cheap land that no-one is fighting over, so they pay cheap rates. They do their thing without scarce resources.
And yes, I know charity shops get some exemptions
But other than that, is any high street half empty because of business rates? What's the mechanism for setting them, because if I was a council, I'd rather get £100/yr of rates than £0/yr of rates. Having empty shops because you set rates too high would seem to be shooting yourself in the foot.

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