RMI Petrol has called on retailers to get their MPs to support its business rates challenge. Brian Madderson, RMI Petrol chairman, has been leading the charge against the methodology used by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) in its recent revaluations after retailers

expressed concerns over ’unreasonable’ hikes in the new rates. MUA Property Services has been representing RMI Petrol in talks with the VOA, with more meetings due this month. And the VOA is said to be prepared to revisit the scheme and review and alter its approach "if evidence shows this to be appropriate".

Meanwhile, MP Philip Dunne has stepped up his support to the campaign by tabling an Early Day Motion (EDM), calling for the government to postpone the business rates revaluation for petrol stations.

Dunne said it was clear from the wide range of evidence he had received from all over the country that the revaluation would cause many sites to suffer increases in rateable value far higher than was reasonable.

He added: "Hundreds will see their business rates bills more than double over the next few years. Many of these will cease selling fuel or close. As the country struggles to get back on its feet this is yet another blow to small businesses.

"It will particularly hit rural people, who are so reliant on their cars, and the independent filling stations which provide their fuel."

Meanwhile, Madderson said RMI Petrol had recently heard of one site’s rateable value jumping by 725%.

He added: "It was extremely helpful to have support for this challenge to the VOA from an MP with such a grasp of the serious issues at stake.

"It is hoped many other members will be appalled at the potential impact on rural communities and voice their concerns."

For more on how you can help RMI Petrol with its challenge to the new business rates, see the report in this month’s News Extra on page 10.