Some years ago, museums in Exeter and York challenged the Valuation Office over the rateable value of their buildings. They won !!! Five years ago, Chard, was part of a second tranche of museums to again, challenge the Valuation Office. The Chairman has been working with Colin Hunter from Lambert, Smith and Hampton in that challenge to the rateable value of the museum and to consequently reduce the business rates we have paid annually since 2015.
The original Rateable Value was £22000.00; the solicitors valuation based on the York and Exeter decision was £1.00; and after much wrangling the Valuation Office offered a compromise of £3000.00. This the Trustees rejected.
The Chairman, Vince Lean, who has worked on this for the 5-years informs us that ‘I am pleased to announce that at the recent VTE tribunal they found for the museum and consequently reduced the Ratable Value from £22000 to £300’. This decision, we understand, is to be back dated.
However, Vince went on to say that ‘before everyone starts celebrating, as Colin says, the Valuation Office have a month to appeal against the decision so we still have a small way to go before finally winning our case’.
Vince added that 'the Valuation Officer who visited the Museum earlier this year was easy to share information with and talk too; he made a donation to the Museum, which we are hugely grateful for, and we hope to welcome him back as a visitor in the future.'
The Trustees want to thank Vince, for all his work over the 5-years, and the potential achievement for Chard Museum. This decision is and has been watched by many, many museums across the country. Another good day for Chard.