Shepherd Chartered Surveyors has advised Scottish ratepayers that, despite the announcement in the Budget 2010 of a cut in business rates south of the border from October as part of Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling’s measure to assist small businesses, they will remain better off than their counterparts south of the border.
The Chancellor Alistair Darling announced plans to cut business rates for 500,000 small businesses south of the border for one year whereby business premises with a rateable value up to £6000 will see their existing 50% rates relief rise to 100%.
Alan J McKenna, Head of Rating at Shepherd, said, “Despite the fact that the business rates cut mentioned in the Budget only applies south of the Border – and even then will be dependent on the colour of the Government following the General Election – Scottish ratepayers remain better off than their English counterparts. That’s because ratepayers in Scotland already benefit from the Small Business Bonus Scheme.”
Last month the Scottish Government announced that 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 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.
For further information please contact Alan McKenna, Shepherd tel 0141 331 2807 Issued on behalf of J&E Shepherd by Liquorice Media tel 0141 561 4018 www.liquorice-media.com
Date 25th March 2010