Retailers may have to contribute an extra £280m in business rates next year as the tax is bumped-up due to rising inflation.
The uplift in the commercial property tax next April will be linked to inflation, which has been climbing this year, in part due to the devaluation of sterling.
Next April's hike in business rates will be calculated using September's RPI figure. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has forecast RPI to hit four per cent this month, and has calculated that retailers, which account for a quarter of business rates, will therefore face a rate hike of £280m.
The rate hike comes after a business rate revaluation that led to a jump in the property tax for many businesses in London; some retailers faced rate rises of as much as 50 per cent.
Tom Ironside, director of business regulation at the BRC, said: "It is highly questionable whether communities across the UK can afford a spike in business rates of this scale and any resulting loss of commercial investment will contribute to fewer shops and fewer jobs.
"Nearly one in every 10 shops currently lies vacant and those in economically-vulnerable communities in particular remain persistently empty, limiting the changes for these places to thrive."