Business rates are an unfair tax levied on commercial property. Basically, every five years the government calculates the “rateable value” of every commercial property in Britain. How they do this is complicated – you might even say too complicated for it to be an exact science. Anyway, rateable value is then multiplied by 49.3p for standard businesses, or by 48.0p for small businesses. Meaning, whatever annual worth a property was valuated at (last valuation was April 1st 2017), nearly half that amount will have to be paid as tax each year.
In Britain, increasing numbers of shopping centres are becoming what Americans call “ghost malls”. As big-name brands go under, smaller merchants can no longer rely on stragglers from these stores to bring business.