Member News

IPTI | Update on U.S. & European Property Tax Issues: April 2021

The EACC, in partnership with the International Property Tax Institute (IPTI), wants to keep its members up to date with the latest developments in property taxes in the USA and Europe. IPTI has put together a selection of brief reports from articles contained in IPTI Xtracts which can be found on its website (


New York: If Property Values Are Down, Why Are Property Taxes Up?

When property values go down, it’s only natural to expect your property taxes to go down as well. But when New York City’s Department of Finance (DOF) sent out its tax assessment notices on Jan. 15 for the upcoming 2021-22 fiscal year, many co-op boards were in for an unpleasant surprise: Despite declines in the market value of their properties, their property taxes are going up.

Even given the city’s endlessly confusing property tax system, the numbers just don’t seem to compute. First, because the DOF isn’t working with current data – there’s a time lag of two years – its determination of market rates is somewhat arbitrary. But a more important reason for the disconnect is something that’s buried in your annual property tax bill. It’s called Transitional Assessed Value. Simply put, a fraction of the increase or decrease in a building’s assessed value from the previous year is factored into its assessed value for the current year; the assessed value for any given year also reflects the five previous years of ups and downs. In an up market, it’s possible that this Transitional Assessed Value will increase for five consecutive years. Because of that five-year spread, any decrease in market value – that is, replacing just one of those yearly jumps with a minus charge – won’t be immediately reflected in your current tax bill.

Bottom line: Don’t assume you’ll catch a break in 2021-22 because of the 2020 downmarket. “There are going to be situations where the DOF will say, ‘Look, we dropped your actual assessed value by a million dollars,’ ” says Paul Korngold, a partner at the law firm Korngold Powers. “And people are going to think, ‘Well, my taxes are going down.’ But you’re not likely to get that full million-dollar reduction. And in many cases, buildings that get a reduction in their market values may still end up paying more in real estate taxes.”

For Class 2 residential properties – which includes co-ops and condominiums – with 11 units or more, a byzantine formula is used to arrive at your property tax bill. The first step is determining market value. Because co-ops are considered rental buildings, their market value is determined by their income-earning potential based on similar rental properties. Second, multiply market value by 45% to arrive at your actual assessed value. Step 3, however, is where the calculations get tricky. The law mandates phasing in 20% of the change in your assessed value each year over a five-year period, which yields your Transitional Assessed Value. Whichever is lower, the assessed value or the transitional value (minus exemptions), is your building’s taxable value. Finally, multiply that amount times the tax rate to get your property tax bill.

The Transitional Assessed Value system, which dates back to 1983, benefits building owners in an upmarket by essentially evening out five years of normal market gains, thereby lessening the tax pinch when actual assessed values keep rising. If increases take place year over year, only 20% of those increases are felt in any given year. And because transitional value phase-ins are just one-fifth of assessment increases, the transition will usually lag behind assessed value, Korngold says, adding, “People are all too happy to pay on it, since it’s almost always less than the assessed value.”

All that, however, is turned on its head when property values decline, as they have during the pandemic. “Even if your assessed value suddenly drops, you may still be getting an increase in your Transitional Assessed Value because that amount just keeps accumulating from the previous years when your actual assessed value was higher,” Korngold says. In other words, there would have to be a significant drop in property values in any given year to offset the multiple transitional assessment phase-ins that have already gotten baked into your annual tax bill. “The system,” Korngold says, “is very cruel in a downmarket.”

Delaware: Sussex agrees to settle property tax assessment case

The Sussex County Council reluctantly agreed to settle a long-running lawsuit over real estate assessments used by Delaware’s counties to calculate annual tax bills.

Sussex was the last of the state’s three counties to agree to the settlement in a case filed by the NAACP and other groups.

The agreement will lead to a new valuation of all properties by mid-2024, according to a release.

Reassessment is not designed to raise revenues but to reduce changes of disparities in property valuations instead. Many localities reassess properties every few years.

Litigants argued that the lack of property reassessments was unconstitutional and deprived poorer school districts of funding.

County Council, at its weekly meeting, voted to enter into a settlement agreement with plaintiffs in the education funding lawsuit brought against Sussex, as well as the State and its other counties in the Court of Chancery in 2018.

The suit alleged an inadequate and outdated model for valuing property shortchanges Delaware students and public schools.

All counties challenged the allegations, but Chancery ruled in favor of the plaintiffs last year and ordered all parties to work toward a remedy.

The agreement lays the groundwork for the county to move forward on a general reassessment of all properties, to be completed in time for tax bills to be issued in the latter half of 2024.

“This is not a decision today that we take lightly, nor is it one that we frankly welcome. This will have real implications for every property owner in Sussex County and across the state,” County Council President Michael H. Vincent stated in a release. “Unfortunately, the court did not rule in our favor, and while we may disagree with the outcome that now ties our collective hands, the reality is our options moving forward were limited. We believe settling this case today will avoid any further costly legal battles and that this step is ultimately in the best interest of the taxpayers we serve.”

The settlement will be finalized with litigants and filed with the court, in the coming days, according to County Administrator Todd F. Lawson. Once complete, the county will begin evaluating vendors to perform its first general reassessment since 1974. County officials expect to select a vendor later this spring from proposals submitted last month.

Under terms of the settlement, the process – expected to cost an estimated $9 million, with funding coming from county reserves – will begin later this year and conclude by mid-2024.

Whether undeveloped or with improvements, all properties will be evaluated and re-calculated based on current industry-accepted methodologies to produce new assessments that will reflect their true value in money, a requirement under Delaware law cited by the court in its decision.

Assessments, combined with a governing jurisdiction’s property tax rate, are part of the formula used to determine individual tax bills that property owners receive each year. Bills include taxes for both County and local independent school districts.

Delaware law requires Sussex County to bill property owners for school taxes on behalf of the local districts, with those funds then turned over to the state. Approximately 10 percent of the typical residential tax bill in Sussex County is for County property taxes; the remaining 90 percent is for local schools.

Sussex County has among the nation’s lowest property taxes. That has contributed to rapid population growth as New Jersey residents and other higher-property tax states retire to the county.

The taxes paid for luxury properties rank among the lowest in the nation. Owners of one luxury home on the Coastal Sussex sales market paid property taxes of $7,632 a year. The home is listed with a sales price of $9.2 million.

California: Property tax relief available for businesses impacted by Covid-19

The Santa Clara County Assessor’s Office is offering temporary property tax relief to businesses affected by Covid-19.

“This recession is very different than the 2008 Great Recession when we reduced the property assessments of 136,000 homes,” County Assessor Larry Stone said. “The 2008 Recession was caused by subprime mortgage credit fraud and excessive risk-taking by major financial institutions. This time it is businesses, such as hotels, restaurants and retail that have been most severely impacted. Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the government have severely impacted many businesses. For others, there has been no measurable impact. The Assessor’s Office intends to provide proactive reductions where warranted.”

There are two different types of relief the Assessor can provide to property owners: one for the owners of the buildings and land, and another for the owners of business equipment and machinery.

To assist business operators, the Assessor is inviting the owners of businesses, such as restaurants, movie theaters, and gyms and fitness facilities, to submit valuation information about their business equipment. The Assessor’s Office is legally required to assess business personal property, such as machinery equipment valued in excess of $10,000, as of Jan. 1.

“Clearly, many businesses have suffered due to the Covid shelter-in-place order and other health restrictions,” Stone said. “We intend to review potential value reductions if the market value of equipment and machinery has declined.”

To provide relief, the Assessor’s Office is legally required to have qualitative evidence to support a reduction. The Assessor’s Office is requesting that businesses provide information, such as how long it has been closed or experienced reduced hours of operation in 2020, how business income may have been affected, and the extent to which the utilization of business equipment has been impaired.

Businesses are asked to complete the request for information through the Assessor’s online filing system at

Businesses must file property statement filings, due April 1, and no later than May 7, without penalty.

In January, the Assessor requested owners of commercial property to notify the office if the market value of their property dropped below the assessed value, as of Jan. 1.

“Hundreds of owners requested reductions and our appraisers are evaluating each request,” Stone said. “We plan to review as many of the requests as possible by June, when property owners receive the annual assessed value notification.”

While the owners of commercial property (land and buildings) were requested to provide data by Feb. 26, the office will continue to accept data up to Aug. 1.

Kansas: ‘Dark store’ theory tops discussion for local intergovernmental meeting

Riley County’s counselor and appraiser both say officials should continue to pay attention a pair of bills floating in the Kansas Statehouse related to “dark store theory.”

During a meeting with local officials from various agencies Monday, county counselor Clancy Holeman and appraiser Greg McHenry gave a virtual presentation on dark store theory, legally referred to as hypothetical leased fee valuation.

Under this theory, real estate owners — big box retailers in particular — have appealed their property valuations by arguing their stores should be valued in comparison to vacant, or dark, stores in the area, instead of having a traditional fair market valuation. Retailers who have successfully used this theory have been able to reduce their valuations and property taxes by as much as half in some cases.

Holeman said there are two identical bills in the Kansas Legislature, HB 2402 and SB 222, that would eliminate the theory’s use.

“What these bills do is make it clear that fair market value in Kansas for property tax valuation does not include this hypothetical value,” Holeman said.

The proposed bills have not yet moved on to subcommittee review. Holeman said this represents a clarification to the law, and that he and others are concerned about any potential fallout to come with implementing the dark store theory on a wider scale. With property values in the millions of dollars, any reductions in valuations would add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue for local entities funded by property tax revenue, like local governments and school districts.

“The biggest single issue of dark store theory being applied to commercial properties, is we create a special class of properties not held to market value,” McHenry said. “Everyone else ends up getting to share the burden that those dark store cases get rid of.”

McHenry said the injection of hypothetical values into the appeals process is a recent thing and will continue as more tax appeals garner favorable rulings toward the big box retailer. He said attorneys for the large retailers will claim a property should be valued not by its current use, but by its estimated value at the end of its usable lifespan.

“In effect they’re telling us we should ignore everything that’s going on currently, with the location and physical condition of the property … and use dark store theory, that the true value of a building can only be achieved at the end of its economic life,” McHenry said.

Arizona: Commercial property tax reduction recommended to spur growth

A new report from a leading Arizona economist finds that the state’s economic development prospects would brighten if policymakers made the commercial property tax more competitive.

An analysis of tax rates in key markets in the Southwest and the West found that Arizona has some of the highest for office and industrial space, putting it at a disadvantage in the region.

“In Arizona, the commercial property tax remains relatively high despite recent efforts to reduce the business tax burden,” said Jim Rounds, an economist specializing in public policy and economic forecasting, who prepared the report for the Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP). “State tax policy must be designed so businesses can remain competitive.”

Currently, the state’s assessment ratio on commercial property stands at 18 percent versus 10 percent for residential, Rounds’ analysis shows.

“This means that office industrial, retail and other business properties are paying significantly higher property taxes than comparable residential properties,” he said.

Legislation would gradually reduce assessment ratio

To remedy the situation, Rounds recommends passage of a proposal at the state Legislature to gradually phase down the commercial property assessment ratio from 18 percent to 17 percent over the next two years.

Ideally, dropping the rate down to 15 percent over time would be a strong catalyst for investment here, Rounds said.

Business advocacy organizations statewide are in support of the proposal, including the Arizona Chapter of the NAIOP, which represents developers, owners and investors of office, industrial, retail and mixed-use real estate in the state.

“Coming out of the pandemic, there are going to be a lot of companies looking to relocate and we want the whole state of Arizona to be in that top tier of the markets that companies are going to when they are either locating or expanding into the western region,” said Suzanne Kinney, Arizona NAIOP president and CEO.

“Right now, the commercial property tax is one area where we’re simply not competitive, and unfortunately, it causes us to not make it into the final consideration for some site selectors.”

Office and industrial tax rates “through the roof”

According to the report, compared to the most popular markets in the Western United States, Arizona has the second highest commercial property tax rate for industrial space and third highest for office.

“Houston is at the top of the list, but it’s not apples to apples. They have zero income tax and extremely generous cash incentives,” Kinney said.

And while everyone is celebrating recent successes in Arizona with the semiconductor sector, most of these companies are located in Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs), which provide cost savings and incentives, she said.

“It’s a wonderful program, but it’s not available to all companies,” she said. “They are restricted to certain geographic areas and companies get a dramatic reduction in their property tax and that’s factored into their decision to choose Arizona.

“What we’re really hoping for is to broaden out the competitive nature of our tax climate so that businesses, wherever they want to locate in the state, are going to see us as a competitive market.”

Reduced tax revenues would be offset by economic growth

By dropping the tax rate from 18 to 17 percent, the Legislature estimates that the net assessed value reduction will equal $1.39 billion by tax year 2023. That represents a 1.7 percent reduction, Rounds said.

That does not mean the tax burden would have to be shifted to residential or other classifications, Rounds said. There are a number of factors that could easily offset the loss in tax revenues.

For one, other incentives currently in place for businesses could be removed or reduced down the line. Years of rising commercial property values have also increased tax revenues from the sector and that will continue with new growth.

“Statewide commercial property values have been increasing by more than 6 percent per year over the last five years,” the report states. “Thus, the anticipated growth will more than full offset any modest reductions in the assessment ratio.”

A reduction in the commercial assessment ratio of the property tax formula would result in municipalities modifying local government tax rates, resulting in a “more competitive balance” in the tax code, the report says.

History shows it works

Arizona has taken steps in the past to reduce commercial property taxes. Prior to 2006, the assessment ratio on commercial property was 25 percent.

Over the past 15 years, the ratio has gradually reduced to 18 percent. As the rate declined, the value of commercial property increased at an average annual rate of 5.1 percent between 2000 and 2020, according to the analysis.

That improved the state’s competitive position, helping fuel new economic growth and resulted in “a net gain in tax collections.”

Iowa: Look at Utah’s ‘Truth-in-Taxation’ for how Iowa could provide more effective property tax relief

Iowa property taxpayers deserve greater transparency in understanding their total property tax bill. This will help prevent local governments from hiding windfalls from increased assessments.

Property taxpayers in Iowa are frustrated. Taxpayers often blame assessors for high property tax bills, but it is government spending that results in high property taxes. Property taxes are also a form of wealth tax.   For example, if the value of a home increased by 10%, it does not mean the property owner has a 10% increase in savings to cover their property tax.

If the goal is to ensure all Iowans receive property tax relief, then the best approach is to strengthen the 2019 property tax transparency and accountability law by requiring a Utah-style Truth-in-Taxation process. Utah’s Truth-in-Taxation law not only provides accountability in transparency, but it is also based on the revenue side.

As Howard Stephenson, president of the Utah Taxpayers Association explains: “Truth-in-Taxation is a revenue-driven system, not a rate-driven system. Generally, as valuations of existing property increase from county assessors’ annual adjustments of taxable property values to keep pace with market values, property tax rates decrease. This automatic reduction in property tax rates prevents local governments from getting a windfall simply because valuations of existing properties have increased.”

If a local government wants to exceed the certified tax rate, it then requires a Truth-in-Taxation hearing that is accompanied by an extensive public notification and hearing process. Truth-in-Taxation also forces local government officials to take recorded votes to approve an increase in tax collections. Through the Truth-in-Taxation process, local governments must justify why they want to increase taxes for additional spending, forcing them to be more transparent.

A crucial aspect of Utah’s law is a direct notification requirement, where notices are sent to taxpayers, providing information on the proposed tax increase. It also includes the date, time, location of the Truth-in-Taxation budget hearing. This extensive public notification and hearing process has been successful and taxpayers in Utah actively participate in Truth-in-Taxation hearings.

Iowa could implement a similar direct notification system to let property taxpayers know how much their property tax bill will increase. Iowa property taxpayers deserve greater transparency in understanding their total property tax bill. This will help prevent local governments from hiding windfalls from increased assessments.

Kansas recently passed a Utah-style Truth-in-Taxation law, and Nebraska is considering a similar measure. “Truth in Taxation closes the property tax honesty gap. Local officials can no longer pretend to ‘hold the line’ on property taxes while taking in large increases from valuation changes. Now, they have to be honest about the entire tax increase they impose,” said Dave Trabert, president of the Kansas Policy Institute.

Another solution for property tax relief is to strengthen the 2% “soft cap” placed on city and county budgets. Implementing a stronger spending limitation on all local governments, including school districts, would help control the growth of property taxes in Iowa. It would also require voters to approve a budget increase. Tax and spending limitations can be an effective means at controlling the growth of both government and taxes. Spending limitations also avoid the problem of interfering with the market to determine property valuations.

Local governments in Iowa will be receiving federal dollars from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act. One possibility for using those dollars would be to provide property tax relief for taxpayers. Iowa Senate Republicans have also approved a measure that would eliminate the county mental health property tax levy, which would generate property tax relief.

To achieve true property tax relief, local government spending must be addressed. It would be a mistake to consider raising or creating new taxes to “buy down” property tax rates. In fact, Iowa has already tried this approach. In 1934, the income and sales tax were created to lower property taxes. Today, Iowa not only has high property taxes, but high income and sales taxes.

A Utah-style Truth-in-Taxation measure and a stronger spending limitation are two property tax reform ideas worth considering.


United Kingdom: Business rates reform: escaping the shadow of 1990

There is a growing view among organisations that business rates as they stand aren’t fit for purpose. But the last big reform of local government tax ended in riots. Can it be done?

When the UK government announced its fundamental review of business rates, there was hope among organisations that we would finally see reform to the tax. The rates system can be traced back to its origins in the Poor Laws of 1572 and 1601. Business rates as we know them can be traced to the Local Government Finance Act 1988 but in some respects, it reflects law stretching back to 1601.

The 1988 law was the last attempt to reform local government finance and is remembered as a disaster. While modern business rates were successfully implemented, its domestic equivalent the Community Charge led to the poll tax riots and, ultimately, the downfall of the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

That event has cast a long shadow. As a result, any kind of tax reform, particularly local government taxation, has been approached with trepidation. Will we see some real reform this time?

“This is not the first time fundamental reform has been promised,” says John Boulton, Director, ICAEW Technical Policy. “Long-term, such reforms would ideally involve a comprehensive look at local government financing and how business activity is taxed locally. Even if you don’t go as far as introducing a different tax for local business activity, there’s widespread recognition, including by the government itself, that rates need proper modernisation.”

One example cited by Boulton is the issue of revaluations, which he feels should be more responsive and timely. “There was a promise we were going to be moving to three-yearly revaluations” he adds, “but the most recent set of revaluations was postponed because of coronavirus.”

The last revaluation period of five years was also postponed by an additional two years, from 2015 to 2017, so the issue of timely revaluation is not just pandemic-related. By the time businesses were reassessed in 2017, bills were based on 2010 data and in some cases significantly out of kilter.

Other regions such as Hong Kong and the Netherlands already revalue properties on an annual basis, using technology to make this more achievable. This was one of the key topics covered in the Call for Evidence published last July.

“This year’s Budget contains a commitment to putting some money behind digitising business rates,” says Boulton “That’s got to be a good thing. But are we actually going to get a system that is more transparent and reactive to ratepayers? Is it going to let them see how their assessment is completed?

They need to be able to predict what their assessment will be if they open new premises or make changes, and be able to easily challenge it if it’s wrong. These are all things that are problematic with our current system.”

The government’s recent Spending Review froze the business rates multiplier for another year. While this can be seen as a positive for struggling businesses, it was somewhat disappointing for those calling for wider reform. ICAEW has been calling for a significant reduction in the multiplier, considering that it has increased linearly since the 1990s. “It is now more than 50p in every pound of rateable value – that’s simply too high”, says Boulton.

“It’s time to look again at whether the system can deliver rates at that level. Although the pressure for the multiplier was recognised in the spending review and the multiplier freeze was budgeted for, there’s nothing else in the Budget indicating any relief from rates.”

The pandemic has created a great opportunity for tax reform, to ensure the system is efficient and robust enough for the modern era, particularly as digital technology allows people to work from anywhere. But it’s an uphill struggle, says Boulton.

“We’ve seen the political difficulty of achieving fundamental reforms, particularly in local government taxation. The government’s appetite to tackle this area historically has never delivered the necessary adjustments to the system. It subsequently raises the reliance of local government on rates as a source of funding. You’ve got the attractiveness of property as a very easily identifiable basis for tax. You put all that together, and the prospects for reform, look less likely.”

While real reform might still be elusive, pressure from ICAEW and others has resulted in greater recognition of the issues businesses face. ICAEW’s 2018 thought leadership piece Business Rates: maintain, demolish, rebuild or refurbish laid the groundwork for serious debate about the efficacy of Business Rates.

“We gave evidence to the Treasury Select Committee, and it was encouraging to see the conclusion we had reached, that it was ripe for reform, was picked up by the Treasury, which culminated in this call for evidence,” concludes Boulton. “It’s good to see in the Spending Review that the government has identified that the multiplier needed action, even though it didn’t go as far as we would have liked.

“It’s good to see that some money has been put towards digitalisation. An online platform for billing, as discussed in the Spending Review, could be really helpful as long as it gives access through one centralised platform and not left to each local authority. We are making tentative steps towards some kind of meaningful change, even if we don’t get full reform yet.”

United Kingdom: The online tax debate simply highlights the problem with business rates

Who wouldn’t want to be Amazon right now? As the pandemic pushes hordes of shoppers online, its dizzying power has reached new heights. In February, it announced a 72% surge in operating cashflow for the year ending 31 December 2020, to a total of $66.1bn (£47.8bn).

That same month, controversial founder Jeff Bezos reclaimed his title of richest man in the world from rival Elon Musk. The former now boasts a net worth of $186bn, while Musk has to make do with a paltry $183bn.

The accompanying pictures of Bezos grinning like a Bond villain have no doubt fuelled the recent furore over the taxation of online businesses in the UK. The issue made the headlines yet again today, as Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced he would wait until the autumn before deciding whether to introduce an online sales tax – long mooted as a tool for levelling the playing field between digital and physical retail.

On the face of it, there’s logic in this argument. The likes of Amazon have been raking it in under Covid restrictions, while physical stores – many of which have forced to close for the majority of the past year – are struggling to get by.

ONS statistics showed online transactions had reached an all-time high in January, when they accounted for 35.2% of all spend. And that’s unlikely to return to previous levels even once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

So whacking a tax on Amazon would no doubt be a popular move among those who have suffered from this shift. But any schadenfreude is likely to be brief. As Covid makes digital sales a necessity, rather than a luxury, few will escape the tax.

And it’s debatable whether it will do much to offset the real issue at play here: the disproportionate burden of business rates on bricks-and-mortar premises. It’s an issue that has momentarily been swept under the carpet during Covid, as the government has repeatedly extended the full business rates holiday. But that will come to an end in July, when rates will once again become payable on a discounted basis. By March 2022, rates are due to return to their pre-Covid levels.

That’s a scenario many retail leaders are keen to avoid. The business rates system has long come under fire for taxing the retail sector too heavily and relying on outdated property values. As one senior source puts it: “There’s not a single person in commercial real estate who doesn’t think it has to change.”

A return to that system in the coming year, as the high street attempts to make a recovery from the pandemic, could be disastrous. The business rates multiplier is 51p in £1. If that was undesirable before Covid, it’s now unthinkable.

So although it’s later than desired, it’s perhaps a good sign that the government will be looking at the online tax in autumn, at the same time it reviews the entire business rates system. Because taxing online on its own won’t work. What’s needed is a wholesale reform of the tax system, taking into account all retail models.

By looking at the two together, the government can perhaps create a system that works for the new world – one in which the supposed division between the online and offline worlds will increasingly become irrelevant.

United Kingdom: Business rate agents plot legal fightback

Business rate agents are mulling legal action following the government announcement last week that it will legislate against Covid-related property tax appeals, Property Week understands.

Late last week the government announced that it will legislate to rule out Covid-19 related material change in circumstances (MCC) business rate appeals.

A group of senior business rate experts are now in talks with lawyers at Landmark Chambers about their legal options in an attempt to fight back against the decision.

According to one source, the options include a judicial review against the government in some form.

Thousands of firms have been seeking temporary business rate reductions since 23 March 2020, when Britain first entered lockdown, by citing an MMC that they argue was a result of the pandemic.

Britain’s retail, leisure and hospitality groups have already been given a business rates holiday by the government, but other sectors with different types of properties still face paying bills despite many of their properties lying empty as a result of the lockdowns.

On Thursday, ministers said that they will provide an extra £1.5bn package for businesses that have been unable to benefit from the existing £16bn business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.

However, the government also announced that “market-wide economic changes to property values, such as from Covid-19, can only be properly considered at general rates revaluations, and we will therefore be legislating to rule out Covid-19 related MCC appeals”.

John Webber, head of business rates at Colliers, blasted the decision as a “staggering response”. He added: “The government is ripping up the rule book retrospectively. It is the wrong thing to do on every level.”

Keith Cooney, head of rating at Knight Frank, said: “Removing the legal right for businesses to apply for a reduction in business rates is an extraordinary, draconian act from government and undermines the spirit of fairness that should underpin the tax system.

Speaking last week on the announcement, chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Our priority throughout this crisis has been to protect jobs and livelihoods. Providing this extra support will get cash to businesses who need it most, quickly and fairly.

“By providing more targeted support than the business rates appeals system, our approach will help protect and support jobs in businesses across the country, providing a further boost as we reopen the economy, emerge from this crisis, and build back better.”


  • Paul SandersonPresident | psanderson[at]
  • Jerry GradChief Executive Officer | jgrad[at]
  • Carlos ResendesDirector | cresendes[at]

Compliments of the International Property Tax Institute – a member of the EACCNY.