‘Amazon should pay business rates’: York retail leader

Northern retail leader Phil Pinder has said that Amazon should have to pay business rates like physical stores.

Phil Pinder, who is currently chair of the York Retail Forum, told YorkMix Radio this will “end the injustice” of smaller retailers paying higher rates than conglomerates.

Pinder said the move will “level the playing field” and allow the exchequer to raise billions.

Pinder outlined the difficulties facing local retailers in York: “A typical smaller shop in York Shambles will have a rateable value of about £15,000 to £20,000 a year.”

He added: “That means you have to pay about 45 per cent of that as tax, it might even be 48 per cent.”

In July, research from real estate software provider Altus found English businesses owe local councils almost £2.5 billion in unpaid business rates.

More than 8,700 chain stores disappeared from UK retail locations in the first six months of the year, according to a PwC report commissioned by the Local Data Company.

“Business rates are sort of based on footfall – so the busiest shopping centres like Oxford Street in London, that’s where you pay the highest business rates,” said Pinder. “So why shouldn’t the websites that are getting the busiest footfall in terms of clicks pay the highest business rates based on the number of hits that their website gets?”

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