UK businesses paying triple property tax

05 April 2005
Businesses in the UK are paying three times more property taxes than their European counterparts, a new report from the Federation of Small Business (FSB) has found.

According to the report, entitled Business Rates - the small business perspective, non-domestic rates, which have increased by as much as 15.7 per cent in recent years, account for 4.2 per cent of the total UK tax take.

In France they make up only 2.3 per cent of tax revenue, and the figures are even less for Sweden (two per cent), the Netherlands (1.9 per cent) and Germany (one per cent), the research asserts.

"It is time that England's 400 year old system of property taxes was completely overhauled," said FSB business rates chairman Roger Culcheth.

"UK businesses pay as much as three times more property taxes than their competitors in every other European country.

"The very high contribution non-domestic rates made to the exchequer compared with our major trading partners puts UK businesses, and especially small businesses, at a competitive disadvantage."

The report comes as 1.7 million businesses in England receive bills outlining their rates liability for the new financial year.

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