An influential committee of MPs has voiced a number of concerns in a report into 100% retention of business rates by local councils.
The Communities and Local Government Select Committee report echoed ACS concerns that local councils are not using existing discretionary rate relief powers.
It also warned that Local Enterprise Partnerships may not be the best structure through which to determine when it is appropriate to raise business rates to fund infrastructure projects.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We welcome the committee’s report and the ongoing debate about the structure of business rates system to enhance business growth and investment. ACS wants to see more councils using existing discretionary rate relief powers to support local businesses, and this must continue to be 50% funded by central government.”
The report set out a number of ‘issues for consideration’ for the Government, including allowing councils to raise the uniform business rates for certain sectors, and the introduction of a transaction levy for online retailers.
Lowman added: “Councils should not be given more powers to raise business rates, and local shops and other businesses cannot be left to pick up the tab as other sources of local authority funding decline.
“We welcome further debate about how internet retailers should pay their fair share, as they currently have a huge advantage over high street businesses facing big rates bills.”