It really is time to look again at the rates we all pay.
I am referring to both the business rate as well as our council taxes. For too long now it has been used to milk all of us without anyone being truly accountable. It is not fair and impacts disproportionately on the small business, as well as those on lower earnings and the less well off.
Year on year, all we ever see is inflation busting increases, never related to a business's earnings, profitability, or the individual's ability to pay.
Like the questionable practice of upwards-only rent increases, why do rates only ever rise?
Why are there so many inequalities within the current system?
Why are absent landlords able to skew local rateable values against all the other businesses?
Why are charity shops allowed to sell new goods, whilst at the same time attracting rebates at the whim of their local council, in direct and unfair competition to other local shops?
Why do we in the UK pay a far greater proportion in business rates than in other European countries?
Even small businesses based at home, are finding that the vast increases in their council taxes are having a detrimental impact on their ability to remain competitive.
It may even deter new start-ups and women entrepreneurs, whom our policy makers continually say they want more of.
They should remember that it is mainly these groups who work from their homes in the first place and who are a significant part of the revitalisation of communities.
Surely the time has come for a fundamental review of the whole nefarious system.
I have asked our local authorities why they cannot control their costs, why they do not keep increases within the rate of inflation and why they cannot reduce charges. The reponse is always that it is not a business matter.
This is a fallacy. In business we have to control our costs, to offer the customer what they want and to ensure that our employees and their families have a job to look forward to.
How different it is when you are spending someone else's money! Maybe, this time the Chancellor will look again at how these particular taxes have such a large and disproportionate impact on our small businesses, our employees and their families when he announces his Budget in two week's time.
* Mike Cherry is chairman of the West Midlands Policy Unit of the Federation of Small Businesses