East Sussex pubs in line for welcome tax relief

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The vast majority of pubs in East Sussex are in line for welcome tax relief following the Chancellor’s Spring Budget.

A revaluation of non-domestic business rates, charged on shops, offices, factories and warehouses, was carried out last year with the changes due to come into effect at the start of April.

A total of 527 pubs in West Sussex with a rateable value of less than £100,000 are set to receive a one-off £1,000 pub discount announced in Philip Hammond’s first Budget, according to business rent and rates specialists CVS.

While 45 of the largest establishments will not receive the discount any business experiencing large hikes in business rates can apply to the £300m five-year hardship fund, something also available for those receiving a discount.

The 73 smallest pubs with a rateable value under £12,000 will not pay any business rates at all over the next five years.

The pub sector has been adversely affected by the revaluation seeing property assessments rise overall by more than 14 per cent.

The Chancellor explained that his Budget recognised the ‘valuable role that local pubs play in our communities’

Across East Sussex, Rother has the largest percentage of pubs who under the new small business rates relief scheme will no longer pay rates (26 per cent), followed by Hastings where 15 per cent of all its pubs will no longer pay any rates tax.

More than 90 per cent of all pubs with a rates bill in Hastings, Lewes, Rother, and Wealden will qualify for the temporary one year Government support discount subject to state aid rules.

Eastbourne has the largest percentage of pubs with a rateable value of over £100,000 which do not qualify for the particular pubs-specific discount package.

Mark Rigby, chief executive of CVS, who met with ministers ahead of the Budget to press for financial help for pubs, said: “Rating for pubs is notoriously complex. Unlike other rates assessments which are based on rents, valuations for pubs are based on an assessment of ‘fair maintainable trade’, which is calculated using information on turnover, services offered, the local area and other factors.

“We specifically asked for discounts to rates bills for small pubs who have seen their numbers fall by over 11,000 across England during the current tax regime and have been adversely affected under the tax revaluation.

“That demand was met and both the Chancellor and Secretary of State should be congratulated on listening to the concerns of landlords of small pubs but, more importantly, acting upon those concerns with meaningful financial help.”

He added: “Businesses should always make sure that they are paying fair and accurate rates liabilities, and if not, then they should seek to challenge their new property assessment by way of lodging an appeal with a professional agent.”

More than one million businesses in England challenged their last property assessment with almost one in three receiving a rebate through a successful appeal.

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