More than 82,400 properties in England have lodged appeals against business rates since the system’s 2017 overhaul, official figures have shown.
This is a 78% drop from the 371,250 appeals lodged in the two-year period following the 2010 revaluation, data from the Government’s Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has shown.
The figures cover all shops, restaurants and public sector buildings that have lodged formal appeals through the new “Check, Challenge and Appeal” (CCA) process.
Only 258,170 properties have been approved by the VOA to begin the check system, and of these only 82,400 checks have been registered – this is less than 5% of the 1.9 million eligible properties.
Of the 12,930 challenges that have been registered, only around 37% (4,740) have been resolved and 6,980 are outstanding.
The process was launched in April 2017 and has received criticism for being too complex.
“Over complicated procedures, lack of guidance and a largely un-navigable new online portal discouraged many companies from starting the whole CCA process, despite many with good cases for challenging their bills,” said John Webber, head of business rates at property firm Colliers International.
“It now looks like more companies are now gritting their teeth and are registering, but the slow rate at which such challenges are being processed is alarming.”
Webber added: “We have heard that because the VOA does not have the manpower to turn around the checks in the system quickly enough, it is “parking” some of the earlier submissions and concentrating on new ones coming in, so it appears to be more successful than it actually is.
”Some of these ’parked’ checks need to be re-submitted, which is distorting the figures. People are calling 2017 ’The Lost List’ because so few appeals are getting through.”