Dorchester's rates bill to double to £7.5m

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The Independent Online

Owners of landmark buildings across the UK face rates bill increases as great as 115 per cent after an Inland Revenue review.

The Valuation Office Agency reassessed business rates on commercial properties last week for the first time since 2005. The real estate industry believes this will result in onerous taxation at a time when the market is struggling.

The changes, which will take effect next year, will see the Dorchester Hotel's business rate increase from less than £3.5m-a-year to £7.5m, according to research by chartered surveyor Gerald Eve. And airport operator Heathrow will have to pay £216.5m, up from £173.4m, while the Bank of England faces an increase of 13.5 per cent to more than £6.8m.

Jay Schurder, the head of rating at Gerald Eve, said that the rateable value (RV) changes are inconsistent. "The All England Tennis Club will be pleased to see Wimbledon's RV fall by 14.3 per cent but Wembley Stadium increases by 17.6per cent and Twickenham Stadium rockets by over 88 per cent."

Mark Henderson, the head of statutory valuations at property agent DTZ, said: "There is no doubt that businesses are going to find these changes particularly unwelcome at a time when they are struggling with the current economic conditions."