Shepherd Urges Ratepayers to Seek Advice Following Removal of Transitional Relief from Rates Revaluation

Shepherd Chartered Surveyors is urging ratepayers to seek professional advice following a Scottish government memo stating that there will be no

transitional relief at the forthcoming rates revaluation on 1st April 2010.

Alan J McKenna, Head of Rating at Shepherd, said, “Previously, transitional relief applied to protect ratepayers from large rises in a property’s rates payment as a result of a revaluation. Increases would be phased in over a number of years so that ratepayers were not required to pay the full value of rateable value multiplied by the Uniform Business Rate until three or four years later. That financial cushion has now been removed entirely in Scotland, although an extensive transitional relief scheme remains intact south of the border.”

Meanwhile, the Scottish government has announced new thresholds for the large business supplement. The threshold at which the 0.7p large business supplement becomes payable will rise from £29,000 to £35,000 whilst Small Business Bonus Scheme thresholds have been increased to keep the same number of properties in the scheme, with the threshold for 100% relief rising from £8000 to £10,000.

In addition to the rise in thresholds, the Small Business Bonus Scheme will be expanded to include 3,600 properties in small chains which do not currently qualify. And businesses with multiple properties whose cumulative rateable value is £25,000 or less will be eligible for relief of 25% for each property with a rateable value of less than £18,000.

The thresholds for rural rate relief, which offers support to key services in rural communities, will be uplifted from 1 April. For sole shops, general stores or post offices, this will rise from £7000 to £8500 and for sole petrol filling stations, hotels or pubs; this will rise from £10,500 to £12,750.

Mr McKenna said, “I would urge all commercial property occupiers to take advantage of the one in five year chance to lodge a rates appeal – particularly since the date at which the assessor bases the 2010 rateable values coincided with the onset of the recession – but would emphasise that there are means by which clients can achieve significant rates repayments.”

The forthcoming 2010 rates revaluation means that all commercial properties will be revalued from 1 April 2010. The rateable value reflects the assessor’s analysis of the rentals and building costs associated with each property as at 1 April 2008 – the ‘tone date’ upon which all rates valuations are based.

Mr McKenna, said, “Given that the tone date fell within a period of financial upheaval within the UK, when the recession began to take hold, this effectively meant that the assessors were valuing commercial properties against a background of rapidly changing commercial property values. Consequently, it seems likely that many property occupiers will have a particularly strong basis upon which to lodge an appeal.

ENDS

For further information please contact Alan McKenna Shepherd tel 0141 331 2807

Issued on behalf of Shepherd by Liquorice Media tel 0141 561 4018

Date 15th February 2010

Contact: Susan Christie
Phone: 0141 561 4018
Email: susan@liquorice-media.com
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