The Draft 2010 Rates Revaluation for England is to be published this month. This has financial implications for virtually all golf venues as it influences the amount payable in respect of business rates.
If the revaluation produces hefty increases in rates demands it will be vital for golf venues to consider their options for mitigating the increases. The increases will take effect from next April.
Business rates form a significant and unavoidable fixed overhead for the majority of UK golf venues. A fairly typical 18 hole golf club in southern England might currently expect to pay around £30,000 to £40,000 per year if no special concessions apply.
Mark Smith, a leading figure within the golf industry on helping clubs to minimise their rates bills comments: “For the last 20 years it has been government policy to revalue all non-domestic properties for business rates every five years. Currently golf venues will have a set Rateable Value and this is the figure that is going to be reassessed. The Rateable Value is the commercial equivalent to Council Tax banding for houses.
“For a golf venue the Rateable Value is meant to represent its hypothetical annual rental value at a specific point in time and it is set by the Valuation Office Agency, an executive agency of HM Revenue & Customs.
“All golf venues are going to be notified of their new Rateable Values by letter over the next four to five weeks. If clubs find that the new figure is higher than a 15% increase on the old Rateable Value then in my view there is a high probability that this will translate into rates bills increasing next year by several thousand pounds. Given the current tough trading climate the golf industry could do without such increases.”
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