Can we please get this business rates thing right?

Two little stories that caught our eyes:

Nearly three-quarters of small companies in London say business rates are the most important issue they face, piling further pressure on the government over the controversial tax.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) warned that London was in “serious danger of losing its vital support system of micro and small businesses”. The average micro business, which employs fewer than 10 people, will have to pay £17,000 to cover business rates from April, it added.

And:

The house price gap between London and the rest of the country has risen almost ten-fold over the last 20 years to reach nearly £300,000, a report has found.

An average home in London was valued at £105,266 in 1996 - around £33,834 more than one in England and Wales as a whole, according to research by Lloyds Bank.

But by 2016 the price gap had increased to £299,631, with a typical home in London priced at £578,381 and an average property in England and Wales costing £278,750.


Domestic property is not the same thing as commercial true, but that's likely to reflect similar changes in the second over the years.

At which point, business rates are a tax upon the rent that a landlord receives. Values have gone up strongly, rents have too, so why shouldn't the amount paid in tax upon those rents go up? 

We've got to get the money from somewhere and land's the one thing no one makes any more so taxing that is the least distortionary manner we've got of getting some tax into the coffers.

Shrug, what's all the fuss about?