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Non-Domestic Rates: Ports

Volume 488: debated on Friday 27 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when her Department informed the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) that prescriptive rating of docks was to end; and when the VOA was asked to prepare individual assessments of port businesses. (258233)

The Government's policy to end the power to prescribe formed part of the long-term policy to apply conventional rating valuation methods across all industry sectors. The ending of prescribed rating was enacted in the Local Government Act 2003. Prescription applied only to the operational land of the statutory port not to other companies or businesses operating under licence or other agreement with exclusive use of property within the boundaries of ports. A separate assessment for such property is a long established principle that applies right across non-domestic rating, including within ports.

Rateable values are assessed independently by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), and this Department is not involved in the process.

The review of the port rating assessments was undertaken as part of the VOA's statutory duty to maintain correct rating lists. As inaccuracies in the rating assessments were identified, action was taken to correct them.