Posted on Monday 3 February 2020 by John Mulgrew

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The pub sector has written to Stormont's finance committee amid its 'grave concerns' over a 20% average rise in rates bills amid a new revaluation, it can be revealed.

The latest analysis shows that a new draft re-look at rates could see pubs and other licensed businesses hit by the largest surges.

The revamp is part of the Department of Finance’s Reval2020 – which is a reassessment of the rates system which businesses pay, and is based on the rentable value of the business and financial performamce.

While still a draft schedule of values, each council will also have to apply its own regional rate, based on the new proposed figures.

According to new research, the pub increases are higher than other sectors including, retail (-1%), manufacturing (+2%), warehouses (+2%) and offices (+8%)

Eight licensed business could see their valuations increase by £100,000 or more, and around 58 pubs saw their NAV (Net Annual Value) double or more as a result of the revaluation.

Industry group Hospitality Ulster has also written to the newly established Stormont finance committee to outline its concerns.

It’s warned some businesses could look at cost-cutting or passing on the increasing overheads to customers. It says it has “grave concerns” on the current method of evaluating rates bills.

A spokesman for Land & Property Services previously told Ulster Business: “In Northern Ireland, nearly 40% of pubs will have no change or a decrease in their Net Annual Value (NAV).

“Any business rate payer who thinks their new valuation may be incorrect, can contact LPS to arrange an informal review and supply any relevant information before the new valuation list comes into force on April 1, 2020.”

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