London’s Heathrow airport will continue to pay the highest rate bill of any business in England and Wales when new rateable values are applied in 2017.
The airport’s annual bill will be 118m, according to calculations by the property surveyors CVS.
The firm’s list of the top 50 rate payers is dominated by airports, power stations and London head offices.
Harrods and Selfridges both appear in the top 10, paying 18m and 16m respectively each year.
The new rateable values for tens of thousands of businesses in England and Wales were announced in September, following the first revaluation since 2008.
The rates are a form of business tax, based broadly on the rentable value of the property in question.
Once the rateable value is established, a “multiplier” set down by the government is applied to calculate the actual amount to be paid each year.
In some parts of the country where property values have fallen, so have rateable values and thus the business rates to be paid.
But in London and the South East property has become much more expensive and so business rate bills will rise for many businesses there next year.
CVS said the rateable values of the top 50 properties, calculated as of 1 April 2015, had risen by 98m since the previous rateable values were decided in 2008.
This meant, said Mark Rigby of CVS, that the owners of these properties would pay an extra 400m over the five-year life of the new rateable valuations.
“The new Rating List shows that the big infrastructure sites – such as airports, power stations and railway infrastructure – are still dominant as the properties with the highest rateable value in the country,” said Mr Rigby.
“The offices of Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the heart of the City of London have seen their rateable value rise by more than 70% to 17m, while retailers Harrods, John Lewis and Selfridges have all seen increases of more than 50%.
“At 35m, Harrods is the retail property with the highest rateable value – 7th overall – while HSBC’s offices at Canada Square in Canary Wharf are the highest valued office at over 26m,” he added.
Although staying top of the list, Heathrow’s annual bill will in fact fall by 10m from its 2016 level, and other big payers such as Sellafield nuclear power station, and Stansted and Manchester airports, will also pay reduced bills too.
But most of the big rate payers will indeed pay more.
Gatwick airport will stay as the second biggest payer at 30m per year, and Sizewell nuclear power station will pay nearly 24m.
Others in the top 10 are Heathrow airport’s engineering base, Heysham 2 power station in Lancashire, Harrods, the Channel Tunnel, Selfridges, and Vodafone’s fibre optic network, based at offices in Berkshire.
The Channel Tunnel’s bill will rise by 114% to 16.4m, while Hinkley nuclear power station will pay 198% more at 11.8m a year.
Elsewhere in the top 50, the combined rate bill for both the MI5 and MI6 headquarters in London will fall by a million pounds to 9m.
But the BBC will pay 13.4m on its New Broadcasting House headquarters in central London, up from 9.5m this year.
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37630906