Business Rates Public Consultation

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Consultation opened on 16 September 2019. Closing date 11 November 2019.

Summary

The Business Rates Public Consultation was launched on the 16 September and aims to gather views on the future direction of the business rating system within Northern Ireland.

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Consultation description

This consultation closed on 11 November 2019.

In May 2019, the Department of Finance announced plans to undertake a full and comprehensive review of business rates in Northern Ireland.

It is of strategic importance for government to ensure that the business rating system is fit for purpose in order to fund Northern Ireland’s key services, both at regional and district level. The system, together with the suite of support measures, need to be positioned to respond to changing marketplaces and local economic conditions, and should align with wider government strategy to promote economic growth right across Northern Ireland.

The aims of the 2019 Review were to evaluate the system and make recommendations as to how the business rates system can be effective and fair, while still ensuring that overall, the same amount of revenue is available.

The Review was aimed at ensuring the Department of Finance was ready with updated advice for the anticipated return of Ministers in 2020.

A Consultation Report was prepared by the Department following the conclusion of the Review. Unfortunately the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020 meant that the Review responses were submitted in a very different business environment to that which resulted from the pandemic, and more recently the cost of doing business crisis.

Nonetheless, in October 2022, and in recognition of the value of the work undertaken, the Department published the historical factual consultation report for reference purposes only. The findings of that period will, however, need to be recalibrated following the return of an Executive, to reflect the changes in the economy since the review was conducted in 2019.

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