Horse charity calls on yard owners for support

The British Horse Society (BHS) is calling on yard owners to support its campaign against increased business rates following a meeting with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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The charity met with Philip Hammond (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) earlier this year.

He asked the BHS to collect information about appeals that have been made by equestrian businesses against the increase in tax rates.

This information would provide a better picture of how business rates are affecting riding schools and livery yards. 

In light of the meeting, the BHS is now asking riding school and livery yard owners to complete a short survey, detailing how business rates have impacted them.

It follows a year-long campaign by the BHS, which is against the changes that were made to business rates last April.

Since the changes were enforced, equestrian businesses have been disproportionately affected compared to other buisnesses, with some riding school and yards seeing an increase in their business rate of up to 346%.

To tackle the problem, the BHS has been working to raise awareness among the equine community and MPs of the steep business rate increases and has also had meetings with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Minsters and MPs.

One rider who has been affected by the changes is international event rider Nick Gauntlett. Speaking at the National Equine Forum earlier this year, Nick explained that he didn’t rest on his laurels when he saw an increase in the tax.

Nick said: “We saw a hike, but we questioned it and had a review.

“After our review, it turns out that we might not have to pay anything at all. If your business has been affected, you’ve got to challenge it.”

Business rates are a tax that companies in the UK must pay on their premises. The changes in rates, which were enforced in April 2017, have had a significant effect on equestrian and rural businesses due to the fact that they calculated by taking the premises’ size and use into account.

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