Rates on empty properties cost landlords £1bn
9 April 2013 1:30am
LANDLORDS were forced to fork out a massive £1.1bn in business rates on empty buildings in 2012, a hike of 19 per cent on the amount collected in the previous tax year.
Figures obtained by the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) show landlords in the City of Westminster paid the most empty rates among London boroughs and the most of any local authority, at £100.7m.
This figure was more than five times more than Tower Hamlets, the next highest in London with £18.3m.
Landlords in Bristol, Liverpool, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Northampton were also among the highest taxed property owners in their regions.
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TPA, said empty property rates were placing an unfair burden on landlords struggling to find tenants in the economic downturn and also prompting hundreds of properties to be demolished to avoid paying rates.
He added: “There are elderly people who invested in a small commercial or industrial unit in the reasonable expectation that the rent would top up their pension. This new tax is ruining them.”
The TPA’s findings follow calls by the British Property Federation and senior politicians from both coalition parties to reform business rates on empty property, which were first imposed in 2008. While in opposition, business secretary Vince Cable described taxing an empty property in a recession as “a ludicrous situation, completely counterproductive and economically very damaging”.
In other news
There were delays of up to 30 minutes to trains in and out of Kings Cross Station, after the station was re-opened [Read more]
When a 20-year-old footballer publicly declares he wants to leave a club and his agent hurls insults at one of [Read more]
The outbreak of bird flu in the US is leading to an unprecedented situation for companies reliant on eggs – [Read more]
Germany's finance ministry has denied reports it was considering offering Greece its own parallel currency. [Read more]
Chancellor George Osborne was given a boost today, as higher tax receipts helped shrink the deficit by more than [Read more]
Beleaguered spread-betting firm Plus500 today suspended trading in its shares on London's junior market, following [Read more]
The news that card and electronic transactions have overtaken cash as the UK’s preferred method of payment is [Read more]
Despite the crippling effect of election uncertainty, offers received in April were up 15 per cent on last year [Read more]
Former secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles is to be knighted, 10 Downing Street [Read more]
Network Rail engineers have destroyed the Abbey Wood station as part of the Crossrail development that is expected [Read more]
The Championship looks set to once again be named the fourth most-watched league in Europe, following a seven [Read more]
The Costa Coffee owner said Brittain was "the standout candidate from a very strong field". [Read more]
Sugary foods may be taxed to cover the costs of treating obesity, a government minister has said.
European governments must increase efforts to adopt structural reform if “lasting stability and prosperity” [Read more]
Accounting, finance and economics - choose to study any of these subjects anywhere and you'll be likely to land [Read more]
Badly-behaved bosses are a nightmare if you're the unfortunate employee who has to work for them - but they're [Read more]