With Bolton Wanderers saved from the brink as the crisis-hit football club was sold at the 11th hour after running out of money, it has emerged that the football club’s stadium was ‘denied’ a £1.31 million tax cut due to Government policy.
Altus Group said that The University of Bolton Stadium should have been a big ‘winner’ under the 2017 business rates Revaluation, as it’s Rateable Value, which forms the basis of the property tax calculations until 2021, fell by 54.2% – from £1.8 million to £825,000.
But, due to transitional relief, which places a limit on how much a business rates bill can change each year as a result of revaluation, strict limits were imposed on their tax reductions.
Large premises which saw their property values collapse in struggling areas were restricted to tax reductions in business rates bills of just 4.1% before the effects of 2% inflation in 2017/18. During 2018/19 they were limited to just 4.6% before the effects of 3% inflation and, in the current financial year, to 5.9% before the effects of 2.4% inflation.
Analysis of official Government data by Altus Group reveals that, through the policy of transitional relief, which only applies to tax bills in England, Bolton’s stadium has been ‘denied’ tax reductions of £1,310,142 so far since the 2017 Revaluation.
The 2019/20 business rates bill for the stadium of the League One club is £816,822.
Robert Hayton, Head of UK Business Rates at Altus Group, a long term critic of the policy, is calling on the Government to abolish the caps on tax reductions saying: “The 2017 Revaluation will only gradually alleviate costs pressures on firms with large premises that saw property values plummet seeing a real term fall in business rates liabilities of no more than 13% by 2021 allowing for inflation.
“Abolishing these ridiculous restrictions on tax reductions would put fairness back into the heart of the business rates system providing badly needed respite, but it is imperative to maintain the capping of large increases as this acts as an important shock absorber.”