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Business Rates Set to Change in Scotland

19th December 2016

The proposed rateable values for the 2017 Business Rates Revaluation of Scottish non-domestic properties were published at the end of last week. The Rating Revaluation had been postponed from 2015 and will now take place on 1 April 2017 when the proposed draft rateable values (RVs) will take effect. The new RVs are based on a valuation tone date of 1 April 2015.

Initial analysis shows value changes have fluctuated significantly across the country and across property sectors. Non-domestic rate payers in Aberdeen are the hardest hit with general large increases in RVs and, for example, industrial property increases by up to 40%.

In Glasgow and Edinburgh there has been a lowering of RVs for prime offices by approximate 30% however prime retail in both cities has increased by around 20% to 30%.

The industrial sector in Glasgow is showing a slight increase in business rates while Edinburgh’s industrial premises received a slight drop in value by around 10%.

There has been a large increase in the RVs for car showrooms which have, in some cases, increased by a staggering 45%. Many hotels premises and licensed premises are also set to have large increases, for example the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh shows an increase of 36%.

The Scottish Government also revealed changes to the small business bonus scheme raising the threshold to obtain 100% relief to a rateable value of £15,000. However, there is no transitional relief scheme and this will have an immediate impact, especially on large businesses in Scotland as the full effect of the increase in RVs will be felt from 1 April 2017.

Moira Walker, Head of Rating at Ryden said: “While some rateable values have remained static or fallen in certain locations, the general trend throughout the country has been for an increase in business rates, especially in prime locations. In particular, there has been large increases across the country for car showrooms, licensed premises and hotels.

A property’s rateable value is the only part of a rates bills that ratepayers can influence and attempt to change. Appeals can be lodged within six months of being issued with a valuation notice and no later than 30 September 2017. Even if a value decreases it may not have decreased by the correct amount. Commercial property occupiers should take professional advice on appealing their rateable values as early as they can to ensure their rates bill is as low as possible.

Further examples of changes in RVs

Categories Rating

Moira Walker

Moira Joined Ryden in June 2013, bringing a wealth of experience gained over 18 years in both the public and private sectors.

She has specialised in Business Rates having spent seven years in the public sector as a valuer within the Renfrewshire Assessors Office and as a Business Rates Specialist in the private sector where she has achieved substantial savings for clients. She is an Honours member of the Institute of Revenue, Rating and Valuation and is also a member of the Rating Surveyors Association.

In additon to Rating, Moira is a Registerd Valuer and has dealt with commercial property valuations for secure lending purposes and in regard to public sector asset valuations. She has also provided advice in respect of rent reviews and lease renewals over large commercial portfolios.

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