Businesses rally over empty commercial property tax


A number of large businesses have waded into the debate over taxing commercial property which remains empty over a certain period of time.

Companies including Tesco, Nokia, British Airways and McDonald’s have all expressed their concern over the empty commercial property duty introduced in April.

The British Property Federation is working towards reversing the tax and has written a letter to the prime minister Gordon Brown detailing its fears.

Chief executive of the group Liz Peace said: “It’s like making the unemployed pay income tax.

“Taxing hardship and business failure is a ludicrous way to help people through the hard times.”

She added: “Brown must act now to undo this mess.”

Earlier this year, Empty Property Relief for offices in London and other parts of the country which have been vacant for more than six months was scrapped.

Many commercial properties have now been bulldozed because the owners are unable to afford to pay the duty.ADNFCR-1329-ID-18850458-ADNFCR