Government Stops COVID-19 MCC Rates Reduction
The Government has this afternoon announced that businesses who have made ‘material change in circumstance’ (MCC) representations due to the effects of COVID-19 will not receive reductions to their premises’ rateable values.
Regulations to restrict the ‘matters’ that may be reflected in a rating valuation were laid before parliament at 4pm today and came into force with immediate effect. Primary legislation to give this retrospective effect will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.
Luke Hall, Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government, confirmed that the change to the law had been made so that market wide economic changes that may affect property values can only be properly considered at general revaluations. The next revaluation is due on 1 April 2023 with a valuation date of 1 April 2021. The minister reiterated that changes to rateable values between rating lists for MCCs should be limited to physical changes, like roadworks.
In a separate statement, the Government made the point that MCC reductions due to COVID-19 could have resulted in significant taxpayer support going to businesses who operated normally throughout the pandemic. Whilst retail, leisure and hospitality occupiers have received 100% Retail Rate Relief from 1 April 2020 and 30 June 2021 worth £16bn, today’s announcement means that there is no rates reduction for other sectors. Instead, the Government has confirmed a £1.5bn fund to target sectors that have suffered “the most” as opposed to receiving taxpayer aid due to a fall in their property’s value.