Huge hikes in business rates bills have provoked protests from forecourt owners across the UK, with a Jet dealer in Scotland warning his business could be wiped out after his rates were more than tripled.
Many business sectors have been calling for a reform of the business rates system with the ACS urging the government to make business rates fairer for the forecourt and convenience sector in its submission ahead of the 2017 Budget.
ACS chief executive, James Lowman, said the current business rates system penalised rate-payers who wanted to invest in their stores to improve their offering for customers. "We want to see a rates system that incentivises investment and allows stores to offset investments against their rates bills," he said.
Lowman also referred to research, published in The Times, which suggested that many internet distribution warehouses were set to see their rates bills fall as a result of the revaluation: "While the current system provides relief for some of the smallest stores, one in three c-store retailers are set to see their rates increase as a result of the revaluation," he said. "We do not believe the current system is fair, and have called on the Chancellor to look at whether the rates bills for internet distribution warehouses are appropriate when compared to high street counterparts."