Many businesses could find themselves paying over the odds next year when new rateable values on commercial property will be issued in England from April, according to Birmingham property consultants GVA Grimley.
On April 1, 2005 new rateable values will be attributed to all commercial properties in England based on rental levels as at April 1, 2003.
However, it is likely that rate bills from 2005 onwards will be derived from the 2004/2005 rate bill - which makes it important to ensure that current liability is as low as possible.
Nick Power, partner in charge of rating at GVA Grimley's Birmingham office, said: "Business rates are often regarded as one of the largest operational property costs, after rent and service charge, and action can be taken now to ensure the lowest liability possible over the next revaluation period.
"In Birmingham, prime offices have experienced rental growth of approximately 30 per cent between the last valuation date for rating purposes of April 1, 1998 and April 1, 2003," said Mr Power.
"Over the last five years, the industrial sector has experienced reasonable steady rental growth with prime rents in major cities, such as Birmingham, showing increases of 15 per cent or more."
If the deadline of March 31 this year is missed, businesses stand to potentially lose a year's worth of cash savings, he warned.