Tuesday, 04 September 2018 13:10

Hefty council tax bill for High Street cash machine

Written by Nick Jones
Barnet Council has issued a £6,000-plus council tax demand for proprietor Vince Gadhavi Barnet Council has issued a £6,000-plus council tax demand for proprietor Vince Gadhavi
Offering High Barnet residents and shoppers a free-to-use cash machine is proving an expensive nightmare for the Paper Shop in the High Street.

Barnet Council has just hit the business with a council tax bill for £6,200, back dated to 2015.

Proprietor Vajsur (Vince) Gadhavi, who has received no revenue at all from hosting the cash machine for the last 42 months, plans to appeal against the revaluation of his premises, formerly known as Smokers’ Paradise.

The cash machine was installed by NoteMachine UK Ltd in February 2015 and Mr Gadhavi was assured he would be paid commission once the machine hit 6,000 cash transactions a month – a target that has never been reached.

“Up to now we have been prepared to subsidise the cost of the electricity needed for the cash machine – about £200 a year – but we’ve just been hit for six by this back dated council tax bill.”

Because the cash machine faces on to the High Street, offering the public a service, Barnet Council has increased the Paper Shop’s rateable value by £3,750 – to a new total for the shop of £29,000.

This has resulted in an additional council tax bill for this year of £1,800. With arrears dating back to February 2015, the shop faces a total additional bill of £6,266.

Mr Gadhavi, who has been proprietor of the Paper Shop for the last 31 years, says he feels badly let down both by NoteMachine and Barnet Council.

We were never told back in February 2015 that hosting a cash machine would increase the rateable value of the shop

“We were never told back in February 2015 that hosting a cash machine would increase the rateable value of the shop, and now, without any advance warning of the revaluation, we have been hit with a bill for over £6,000

“This is a punitive amount for small trader and quite unreasonable. Surely the Council should have warned us long ago that the shop might be revalued and then we could have decided whether to continue hosting the cash machine.

“We have been providing a service to the public without any income for the shop. At least we deserve a visit from one of the council’s valuation officers to explain what has happened.”

Currently the Paper Shop has to pay a council tax bill of £1,112 a month. The backdated additional bill for the cash machine would push up the overall total to be paid in the current financial year by over 50 per cent.

Cash machines are being lost from High Streets and shopping centres across the country.

Most are being withdrawn by the banks amid a wave of branch closures, but the growing practice of local councils to impose council tax on cash machines in High Street shops and petrol stations is resulting in the disappearance of many more.

 

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11 comments

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 04 September 2018 18:12 posted by Lindsey Sharp

    So how do we help with things like this, using it more rather than the machines in banks?

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 04 September 2018 21:19 posted by Peter Maton

    Greedy councils. They won’t be happy until the whole high street is completely dead.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 05 September 2018 14:14 posted by Louise Rolfe

    Absolutely disgraceful. The greedy powers that be seem to be making money any way they can. Not only is this a service to the consumer but it helps local businesses too. When our card machine goes down (which it does every now and then) customers need to nip out and get cash so they can pay for their shopping. Otherwise - we lose sales and the customer resorts to online shopping. A huge bill like this can break a small business. I hope they fight it. Business rates are for the square footage no? This hasn’t changed their square footage.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 05 September 2018 14:15 posted by Genevieve Abranson

    "Cash machines are being lost from High Streets and shopping centres across the country.

    Most are being withdrawn by the banks amid a wave of branch closures, but the growing practice of local councils to impose council tax on cash machines in High Street shops and petrol stations is resulting in the disappearance of many more."

    They are trying to kill cash, & kill the high street, & kill the community.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 05 September 2018 14:15 posted by Gail Laser

    I think it’s a central government not local council decision introduced this year to charge business rates on cash machines. Awful and not sure how we can fight it.
    Perhaps all write to our MP in the first instance

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 05 September 2018 22:28 posted by Carolyn Gyseman

    This is exactly why the High Street is dying , is it down to the council or the government? Small traders cannot afford this amount of payment consequently they stop offering a service or they shut down, another trader gone from our High Street! Do they want us to go entirely to online shopping, do they want to lose all the rates from the traders in the local High Street? £3000 charge for the heraldic banners was absolutely disgusting.

  • Comment Link Friday, 07 September 2018 09:06 posted by Owen Jones

    Vince's unfair council tax demand should be paid in full by the Barnet Hospital Management Trust.I frequently find this warm-hearted man listening patiently to the troubles of we local citizens in his shop. He must have saved the Mental Health Unit a fortune by providing this free counselling service.

  • Comment Link Saturday, 08 September 2018 16:12 posted by Lynda Proffitt

    Indeed, the Paper Shop happens to be one of the friendliest, most helpful shops on Barnet High St but no local business deserves, or can afford, to be presented with an unanticipated, retrospective demand of this kind.

    I trust that local councillors and our MP will see fit to intervene and assist in an appeal against the increase. There is something very arbitrary about the way it has been imposed.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 12 September 2018 19:57 posted by Harold Lautenberg

    No wonder small shops are disappearing from our High Streets.
    Small shops should be supported by lowering their rating bills,
    not penalising them by extracting extra revenue to heap upon the
    the outrageous business rates they already pay.
    Barnet Council, think again, about this rip off method of collecting extra revenue.
    Dick Turpin was an infamous high way robber.
    Barnet Council, the difference between you and him was you have the law on your side,
    he didn't, and paid the ultimate price.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 19 September 2018 15:44 posted by Carolyn

    About time they concentrated on the lack of police, rising crime, dirty streets, dumped rubbish, lack of social services etc etc before ruining even more facilities in the High Street through their greed.

  • Comment Link Saturday, 29 September 2018 22:23 posted by James

    Business rates are fixed by the Valuation Office Agency part of central government. Business rates on high street shops bare no resemblance to the actual rental values. The system is a disgrace and central government seems unable to fix the Valuation Office (basically they are not interested reforming the rates system as all their time is taken up with brexit) . It is therefore nothing to do with Barnet Council- try lobbying our local MP who holds her surgeries once a month just across the road.

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