Following the move of the Valuation Office to come under the aegis of my Department on 1 January 2018, a review was initiated of the categories of relevant rateable properties contained in the Valuation Act 2001, as amended.
My Department has an overarching objective to ensure the sustainable funding of local authorities. As commercial rates provide an important source of funding for local services any recommendations arising from the review must support that sustainability requirement.
The review will examine the underlying policy rationale relating to the inclusion of categories of relevant property in Schedule 3 of the Act property that is not rateable, in Schedule 4. The review will assess the likely effects, costs and benefits of any proposed changes in categorisation.
There is a broad stakeholder base involved and this is reflected in the composition of the review group. The Valuation Office, the Joint Rateable Valuation Forum, the local government sector and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform were asked to nominate members to the Group. The other members of the Group are officials from my Department. It is also proposed that a public consultation would take place and formal submissions would be sought from relevant Government Departments.
The first meeting of the review group was held on 21 February 2019 to agree the terms of reference. The Group plans to conclude its consideration and make its report in the autumn.