There should be a new business rate system for shops based on energy use and job creation, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has urged.
This suggestion would replace the existing system with a tax based on measures such as job creation and energy usage.
Critics have complained that the current rates system discourages investment, as it is based on 2008 valuations, which were done before the financial crisis when the cost of renting a shop or office was often higher than it is now.
Helen Dickinson, the director general of the BRC, said:
“We have a once-in-a-generation chance to fundamentally change the business rates system and the time is right to think creatively and in the best long-term economic interests of the UK.
“These potential options would be good for the public, the economy and businesses small and large, while still providing significant tax revenues for the government.”
The BRC has also suggested offering a discount to businesses based on the level of corporation tax they pay.
However, there has been criticism from some larger business owners, including former Wickes and Iceland chief executive, Bill Grimsey, who said it would potentially harm small businesses.
The government is currently preparing a document on the subject, which is due for publication in the spring. A Treasury spokeswoman said the government welcome the BRC’s contribution to the discussion and will consider their options on administrative reform as part of the review.