NFAN have been very active on rates to combat exponential rises in business rates. Behind the scenes, this has involved actively engaging with a number of professionals and exploring alternative legal avenues.
NFAN have put together some guidance on what information you need to supply to the VOA for the Revaluation 2023. Please read it carefully and ask NFAN to signpost you to a rating agent if you have any queries.
Time and time again this year, we’ve seen NFAN members help each other through COVID. We now need to pull together to do the same to fight increases in farm attraction rates.
The largest 100 farm attractions experienced an average rate increase of 50% from 2010 to 2017. These rate increases are now coming to all farm parks.
We need to stop rate increases but can only do this if we all take action. We urge you to download this informative presentation or attend a forthcoming webinar.
NFAN have engaged the services of Mark Wasilewski to help stop rate increases. Mark can be contacted on 01234 771599, 07872 592 941 or email@example.com or via NFAN. Mark isn’t a replacement for your agent but his help will support what your agent is doing.
Rates are set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). Having 2 Million properties to value and being time poor, evidence suggests the VOA are attempting to use a shortcut to calculate rates for the farm attraction sector. This shortcut is using a percentage of turnover (which isn’t a proper valuation method).
The VOA have already used this shortcut on some members at between 6-9%. We are unsure why 6-9% has been chosen. We’ve been using the services of ex-city financial analyst Mark Wasilewski to recreate rate valuations and found huge savings.
As farm attraction members, however, we are not helping ourselves. We are not checking how our rates are valued and the VOA are taking this silence as a sign of acceptance.
To read more about why we are concerned and what we can do, download our Stop Rates Increasing presentation or attend our next webinar.
NFAN want to help members take action. Silence is being taken as acceptance and time is running out to do something about it.
We want to help you claim your property on the VOA website and identify which valuation method has been used to value your rates. Follow the step by step guide in this presentation (from slide 22).
Once obtained, NFAN will then also create a valuation for you to identify if you are paying too much. This is at zero cost to yourself and you don’t need to switch agents at all; this information will help your agent. (see slide 44 in the presentation)
Mark Wasilweski is helping NFAN members in this process. Mark is an ex-farm park owner, as well as ex-city analyst. He successfully challenged his own farm park rates and is now helping two farm parks with tribunals in early 2021. His detailed financial analysis has already demonstrated the need for us to take action and stop rate increases, but we need more data.
NFAN wants to create a fairer, more accurate and predictable framework for calculating farm attraction rates. We won’t achieve this if a few farm parks get involved. We need a lot of members to help.
Please act now and if you run into problems, Mark will help you free of charge. He can be contacted on 01234 771599, 07872 592 941 or firstname.lastname@example.org or via NFAN
From slide 22 in our Stop Rate Increases presentation, NFAN provide a step by step guide on how to do step 1 and step 2 below. We are also running another Stop Rate Increases Webinar. Simply by doing step 1 helps. It tells the VOA you are unhappy with your valuation; breaking the silence.
Step 1: Claim your property on the government website – from slide 22 in attached.
Step 2: Check how your valuation is calculated – from slide 40 in the attached.
Step 3: Engage with Mark to find out if you paying too much.
Click here to sign up for our next Stop Rates Increases Webinar. Lasting one hour, many members have found it useful:
“Thank you. Really good session that kicked me out of complacency” (Steven Rawlins, Ash End Children’s Farm, Middleton)
” It was a real eye opener and invaluable to us as a business and as an industry. There is no doubt that together we will be certainly be stronger . It really helps to understand how the process is currently working and how to keep an eye on and manage. Thank you NFAN!” (Rosemary Brown, Bluebell Dairy)
“Really interesting NFAN zoom this morning about rates – I believe I am paying too much and with a revaluation coming up, want to be part of the NFAN effort to reduce the sectors rates” (Rick Turner, Big Sheep)
NFAN have been able to put forward our concerns and evidence for the Government’s ‘Call for Evidence’ for their rate review. Two submissions have been made; the last of which is a 57 page document. Members can contact the NFAN office for a copy of either submissions. Kate Lord, Katie Milbourn and Mark Wasilewski all contributed to this document and we’d like to pass on our thanks for their many hours of work..
The NFAN strategy couldn’t have been created without the Rates Sub Committee’s time and proactive contribution. We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank them too and we know if you have any queries, they would happily take questions. The Rates Sub Committee consists of Doug Douglas, Tom Robinson, Kate Lord, Katie Milbourn, Neil Milbourn, Tom Pearcy, Andrew Wolfe and Steve Vinden.
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