DAILY MAIL COMMENT: The mad tax killing our High Streets : Daily Mail.

With their origins in the Elizabethan era, business rates may have made sense when they were introduced almost 450 years ago to fund local services for the destitute. In the 21st century, they make no sense whatsoever.

Based on notional commercial rental values, the system has become fiendishly complex and unfair to the point of madness, taking no account of a firm’s ability to pay or the realities of running an enterprise in the modern world.

So it is that the first revaluation for seven years, due to take effect in April, threatens to drive countless independent shops out of business, with rate rises of up to 300 per cent in areas where property prices have risen sharply.

Amazon's nine distribution centres in England and Wales will pay £148,000 less in the coming financial year, since they are mostly located in areas where property prices are low 

Amazon’s nine distribution centres in England and Wales will pay £148,000 less in the coming financial year, since they are mostly located in areas where property prices are low 

Meanwhile, in a savagely ironic twist, online retailers such as Amazon – the vastly profitable American giant, notorious for tax-dodging, which has itself inflicted untold damage on the High Street – will benefit from substantial cuts in business rates.

Indeed, Amazon’s nine distribution centres in England and Wales will pay £148,000 less in the coming financial year, since they are mostly located in areas where property prices are low.

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