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Non-domestic Rates: Garages and Petrol Stations

Volume 505: debated on Tuesday 2 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will take steps to ensure that petrol filling stations in rural areas are not adversely affected as a result of the Valuation Office Agency's 2010 business rate revaluation. (314833)

The five-yearly business rates revaluations make sure each business pays its fair contribution and no more and will not raise a single extra penny for Government. Over a million properties will see their business rate liabilities come down as a result of revaluation.

In the last five years, alongside rising petrol prices and increasing turnover, the rents paid on many petrol filling stations has grown. It is only fair to all ratepayers this is reflected in rate bills. The Government have put in place a £2 billion relief scheme to limit the impact on the minority with bill increases, which in 2010-11 will ensure no business property sees its rates bill increase by more than 11 per cent. per cent. as a result of the revaluation, with maximum increases capped at just 3.5 per cent. per cent. for small properties. That is on top of the wider support available to help ease business pressures including discounted rate bills for small businesses and deferring tax payments.

Our rural rate relief scheme provides 50 per cent. rate relief for the sole petrol station with a rateable value below £10,500 in designated rural settlements, with a discretionary power for the relevant local authority to top this up to 100 per cent. We will uprate the rateable value threshold for to £12,500 from April 1 2010 in line with the general movement of property at revaluation. This means that any rural petrol station currently eligible for this relief will continue to be eligible in the next revaluation period if their rateable value has increased in line with the average.