CROYDON IN CRISIS: As the borough’s residents brace themselves for Mayor Perry’s 15% Council Tax hike, one of the biggest businesses on the Purley Way looks to be about to see their bills slashed.
EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES
Croydon’s residents might be facing a £235 increase (for an “average”, Band D property) in their annual Council Tax bills from April, but one of the borough’s biggest businesses, multi-billion international furniture retailer Ikea, is getting its rateable value slashed by £1.57million.
The vast halls of Ikea Croydon, positioned on an industrial estate off the Purley Way, have had a rateable value of £5,240,000 since 2011.
From April 1 this year, courtesy of the government’s Valuation Office Agency, that rateable value will drop to £3,670,000.
The rateable value for a property is not what is paid in business rates or rent, but the figure is used by the council when it calculates the business rates bill. So it seems likely that Ikea is about to get a significant business bonus from Croydon’s cash-strapped council. Which is nice…
The drop in rateable value may be the result of an appeal by Ikea to the valuation office, although a spokesperson for the company was unable to confirm or deny that for Inside Croydon today.
Ikea is reckoned to be the fifth biggest employer in the borough, its staff working in nearly 250,000 sq ft of warehouse retail space, restaurant, shipping department and store rooms. Croydon is the largest Ikea store in Britain.
Ikea Croydon opened in 1992, on the site of the 1940s-built Croydon “B” Power Station. The old power station chimneys were retained as a local landmark, and a handy advertising feature for the store. Twenty years ago, Ikea did consider demolishing the chimneys because of their then £70,000 annual maintenance bill, but dropped the idea. The Valley Park retail and leisure complex, with other stores, cinema and amusements, has been developed nearby.
Last year, Ikea reported global retail sales of €44.6billion (£40billion), as business began to return to “normal” following the covid pandemic.
Even so, an extra £1million or more in the corporate bank account of the Swedish-based megabusiness, thanks to a reduced business rates valuation in Croydon, might come in useful.
It’s just a shame that most of Ikea’s Croydon customers will see their money available for spending at the store reduced by hundreds of pounds, thanks to Mayor Jason Perry.
And not all businesses are looking at reduced rateable values from April 1. Some smaller businesses, who were known to struggle through the pandemic, are facing possibly increased business rates.
Taking one random example from the Valuation Office Agency website, for instance, there’s a business on another light industrial estate not too far away from Ikea, on the Beddington Trading Estate, at 6, Bath House Road, which previously had a rateable value of £68,000.
From April 1, though, that’s going up to £116,000.
That might prove tough for the owner of Carlton Building Plastics Ltd, the business based at that address, were not Jason Perry (for it is he) now being paid £82,000 per year by Croydon Council as the borough’s elected and supposedly full-time Mayor.
But Perry could be about to be hit with a financial double whammy thanks to his own “there is no alternative” Council Tax hike.
His impressive £1.35million seven-bedroom house (and three baths!) on Castlemaine Avenue, near Lloyd Park, falls firmly in Council Tax Band H.
Band H charges twice the Council Tax paid by those in typical Band D homes.
According to publicly available figures, the Council Tax on the Castlemaine Avenue property will rise from £3,931.92 per year to £4,479.12, an increase of £547.80.
At least Mayor Perry isn’t deserting Croydon (at least, not yet).
One of Mayor Perry’s Tory lackeys, Mario Creatura, may have done the shrewd thing… he’s moved out of Croydon altogether. The Coulsdon councillor (£23,813 per year in allowances as Conservative chief whip) now says that he lives in Banstead, where Council Tax bills are going up by as little as 3.3per cent.
Over the past week or so, Croydon councillor Creatura voted THREE times, and with some enthusiasm, to increase Council Tax on the Croydon residents he has left behind by 15per cent.
There has been no announcement from the Tory councillor about whether he plans to do the decent thing and stand down from his elected position now he is no longer a Croydon resident, and having to endure the Council Tax pain that he has helped to inflict on his former neighbours.
Read more: You can depend on Croydon Labour: they always let you down
Read more: ‘Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay’ to start if 15% tax hike goes through
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Jason Perry does not give a fuck about Croydon residents having to cope with this ridiculous 15% tax hike.
I and the vast majority of Croydon residents say: “Fuck you, Perry.”
I am wondering about the rateable values in the town centre.
How much do single unit shops pay relative to 2011?
I wonder whether individual shops in the Whitgift centre pay rates, or do they pay the property company who owns the centre?
Presumably, Ikea’s estate managers justified the reduction on something ?
They can’t have just said “Dear Valuation Office Agency, I would draw your attention to the stonkingly massive amount IKEA pays in business rates every year, ever since 16/06/2011. It would be most appreciated if you could reduce our rateable value from over £5million so we end up paying fewer spondulakes to the Council every year.
They must have either managed to argue that 10 years ago it was massively overvalued, or that market conditions are very tough, and …..
If the latter , would that open up the way for others to do the same? is Centrale valued in one big lump too, and is the Whitgift centre?
If so, Croydon might get another hit in its empty wallet.
This is a stupid and unjustifiable reduction, their online sales and retail sales should rise with inflation and the store doubled up using a mezzanine.
The Valuation office should of increased thrir rates based on inflation and the sales taken away from the center.
Ikea Croydon pays nothing for parking unlike the center, seems to be classified as a warehouse when by selling in store and processing online orders direct to a consumer its like calling for a takeaway meal. The turnover and profits are still with the restaurents sales and turnover.
Whats needed is all uk sales divided by sales and warehouse area.
Croydon Council and all must appeal.