VOA set up a mailing list with which customers could register in order to receive notification when the draft rating list for 2017 was published. The FOI request asked about the number and certain characteristics of registrations received:
“We had 151,900 registrations to our mailing list to receive notification from the VOA upon publication of the draft rating list. This is equivalent to eight per cent of rateable hereditaments. However, we know that not all of those registering were affiliated to a rateable hereditament, and it is also possible that in some cases two or more registrations were in relation to the same hereditament, for example, if an employee and the business owner both registered. It is also possible that some of those who registered had an interest in more than one hereditament, for example an employee or business owner of a business occupying multiple hereditaments. Taking all of these factors together, it would not be accurate to say that eight per cent of hereditaments registered for our draft valuation mailing list. For similar reasons, it is not possible to say what proportion of these registrations were associated with properties in Wales.
This data is correct as at 30 September 2016. As the registration stayed live after this date it is possible that further customers have subsequently registered.
We cannot provide the split between business owner, employee, agent and ‘other’ as at this date, as to do so would be too costly. However, similar analysis has previously been undertaken and the findings are presented below. This analysis used data correct at 25 July 2016, at which point VOA had received a total of 139,400 registrations to the mailing list.
Of the 139,400 registrations, 72 per cent reported that they were the business owner who pays business rates, and 20 per cent said that they were an employee of someone who pays business rates. Less than one per cent said that they were an agent, and seven per cent selected ‘other’.”