Photo: Cllr David Barton
Scores of Southport businesses could be paying too much in business rates
Businesses across Southport have been urged to check their business rate calculations after it was revealed many could be paying too much.
Cllr David Barton said the anomalies were discovered after he conducted an in-depth investigation with the help of both well-established and new business owners across the town.
Cllr Barton, a leading campaigner for the regeneration of Southport, called on businesses and property owners to check their business rates and where necessary raise them for re-calculation by a valuation tribunal.
He said: “This is especially true for those where there has been a marked increase in their rateable values.
“Just one example which has been discovered as a result of this research is that I have found a grave discrepancy in property rateable values at both northern and southern ends of Lord Street.
“It is essential that people check their values and raise any questionable figures as soon as possible as part of our efforts to gain and retain high quality retail outlets to safeguard Southport’s future as a true shopping and tourist destination.
Retail is still an essential part of Southport’s signature identity and must be supported in all ways possible and this is an issue which has been raised with me by constituents of all ages.”
Cllr Barton, who represents Dukes Ward, has called on Sefton Council to support any business and property owners’ recalculation requests where rates have increased substantially, which would help create momentum towards reoccupying the remaining empty units in town as soon as feasibly possible.
He said: “Whilst these values may have been set nationally no size fits all. Indeed, as a tourist seaside resort town it is imperative that as much support as possible is provided to the local business community so that it can grow healthily, which in turn will benefit Sefton Council and its delivery of services across the Borough.
“I would like to thank those business owners who have already contacted me directly for support and for continuing to help one another- this has been deeply encouraging and has already enabled some businesses to benefit from constructively scrutinising their rateable values.
“Where there has been a change in use of a property for instance from office to retail or vice versa this must be raised and where there is any doubt it should be brought to the attention of the valuations office.”
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