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Welsh rateable value relief row

30 May 2008 by

The Welsh Assembly has been urged to extend small business rate relief to protect hotels and stimulate tourism in the Principality.

Proposals for an extension of tax relief on the rateable value of small businesses, including hotels, pubs and restaurants, are currently being considered by the Welsh Assembly following a campaign by the Welsh Tourism Alliance.

If the changes to the business rate relief in Wales go ahead a 50% rate discount for businesses with a rateable value of £2,000 will be set.

However, a discount of 25% for those with a ratable value of between £2,000 and £5,999 will actually see businesses paying more tax than they would under the existing rural rate relief scheme.

Businesses in England receive a 50% rate relief on rateable values of £5,000 or less while businesses in Scotland do not pay rates if their rateable value is less than £8,000.

David Williams, chairman of the Llandudno Hospitality Association, urged the Welsh Assembly to bring rate relief in line with England to protect tourism and hospitality jobs.

"Tourism is the biggest industry in Wales and contributes 6% to 7% of its GDP. We went through a consultation process about five years ago asking for rate relief because it is available in England. They keep saying it is imminent. We will be continuing to press hard."

"The question remains, what will be done to assist those suffering hardship as a result of the situation?" he said.

The consultation has been extended until 24 July and you can respond on the Welsh Assembly website.

Challenging a rateable value >>

Valuation Office Agency website >>

Welsh Tourism Alliance >>

By Christopher Walton

E-mail your comments to Christopher Walton here.

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