TOWN centre shops and businesses should only pay taxes as a percentage of net profits after all running costs have been deducted rather than having to pay rates a local MLA has said.
Ulster Unionist Sam Gardiner said: “The whole basis of the taxation for commercial property in town centres seems to be wrong because it is based on a rates valuation which is out of date in any case and does not properly reflect up to date commercial values. A business should only ever be taxed on profits and not on the property it occupies.”
“I was alarmed recently when the Finance Minister told us that we need not anticipate any rates reductions with the new rates valuation because if the rateable valuation was downwardly revised then they would simply put up the amount to be levied in each pound so that the Northern Ireland departments still got in the same amount of money.”
“This means that the government here is totally cushioned against any recession while the taxpayers, commercial businesses and the shopkeepers are not. In this situation it is ludicrous to say that we are all in this together. Government is not in this with the rest of us. It is making sure its take is not lessened by adverse commercial conditions in the market place.
“Businesses should only ever be taxed on net profitability after all costs have been deducted and not on the property out of which they operate. “