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How Business Rates Have Evolved in the UK

Business rates have been a part of the UK tax system for centuries, with the first known records dating back to the 16th century. Originally known as "poor rates," they were used to fund the care and support of those in poverty within a given community. Over time, the purpose of business rates evolved to become a tax on commercial properties, with the revenue generated used to fund local government services such as schools, roads, and public amenities. Today, business rates are calculated based on the rateable value of a commercial property, which is determined by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). While the concept of business rates has remained largely unchanged over the years, the way in which they are collected and used has undergone significant changes. For example, the Local Government Finance Act of 1988 introduced a new system for calculating and collecting business rates, and the 2010 comprehensive spending review introduced further changes to the system. As a business owner, it's important to understand the history and purpose of business rates, as well as the current system for calculating and paying them. By staying informed, you can make informed decisions about your commercial property and how to potentially reduce your business rates. I hope this brief overview of the history of business rates in the UK is helpful! Let me know if you have any further questions.

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