The response from the business community has been brutal and to the point.
"Not a chance," Birmingham Chamber of Commerce replied last week when asked whether it would support the bringing back of rates under local government control.
The last time that local councils had their hands on business cash, after all, ended in disaster, and you can hardly blame those who create the city's wealth for not wanting to go back to the exorbitant rate rises of the 70s and 80s.
" We cannot accept putting the control of business rates back into the hands of people who have previously proven unable to exercise such power," said the Chamber's director of policy last year when changes to local funding started to be looked at again.
Quite simply, they don't trust us.
Yet the current system, where money is collected by local authorities and paid into a national pool for distribution by central government, is far from ideal, serving neither business nor the city well. Sir Michael Lyons' inquiry which received such short thrift from the chamber is an attempt to address this, and deserves, at the very least, some serious consideration rather than outright opposition.
Local government gets three quarters of its revenue from the centre and it has long been argued that such a set up distorts local accountability leaving the humble council tax payer to foot the bill for any spending shortfalls. If rates were determined by the council in consultation with local business, then both the services businesses rely on and the very economic environment they operate in would be improved.
The council would need to take into account the views of local business in a much more meaningful way than it does at present when deciding service priorities and the city's budget.
This closer relationship would mean that the council could use the rates as a tool for business development - lowering them to encourage regeneration and attract new firms, for example.
The new Business Improvement District in Broad Street, to be voted on by traders in May, gives us a glimpse of how this might work in practice.
In return for an extra per cent or two of their rateable value the area will get a £1.5 million fund for improved lighting and anti-crime measures - measures targeted to address the specific needs of the city's Golden Mile.
Trust, of course, is never easy to regain but there is no reason why local government control of business rates shouldn't come with strings attached. The change in funding could happen in stages, for instance, to reassure the business community that the council is up to the responsibility.
Partnerships could be created to ensure proper consultation takes place and transitional relief and exemptions set in place for small businesses. The safest mechanism of all, of course, would be to link increases in business rates to increases in council tax. All councillors know the electoral importance of keeping that particular figure under control.