Breaking News: Revaluation 2022 Postponed

September 2, 2020

In disappointing news, especially for north-east ratepayers, the Scottish Government has announced that the 2022 business rates revaluation is postponed by one year to 1 April 2023 in line with England and Wales. However, in a different approach to south of the border, the 2023 Revaluation will be based on levels of value prevailing at 1 April 2022 (England & Wales 1 April 2021), a move to a one year valuation date in place of the previously long-standing two year period. The measure to have a one year “tone” date brings forward the recommendation in the Barclay Review of Business Rates which was not scheduled for commencement until after the next revaluation.

The Government say that this extension will allow more time for market conditions to fully adjust to any post-Covid effects, enabling a more accurate and sustainable tax base. Ratepayers will say that a revaluation is needed now so that the tax burden is adjusted to reflect the quite different economic environment businesses currently face, rather than a delay at disproportionately high rates bills.  

This is significant in the context of existing rateable values that were calculated by reference to rental levels in early 2015 considering the subsequent economic shocks and challenging conditions that were initially brought about by a sustained depression in the oil and gas sector, only now compounded by the coronavirus pandemic. Particularly for the Grampian region this is an untimely reminder of history repeating itself following the two year delay to the last revaluation that resulted in the huge spikes in rateable values in April 2017 in the first place, which now will persist for even longer. Ratepayers will continue to face rates demands based on vastly disproportionate rateable values compared to actual market rents and conditions. It is now more critical than ever that the clear material change of circumstances brought about by the pandemic is reflected in rateable values as soon as possible. This will at least provide some relief to ratepayers experiencing an exceptionally challenging environment and one which has been sustained in the north east for some time and looks set to continue.

The Scottish Government has committed to three-yearly revaluations after 2023 and so the next revaluation after 1 April 2023 will therefore be statutorily scheduled for 1 April 2026 (with a tone date of 1 April 2025). More information can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/protecting-scotland-renewing-scotland-governments-programme-scotland-2020-2021/pages/8/

The experienced Rating Team at FG Burnett can assist ratepayers to reduce the rating burden wherever possible and has submitted many material change appeals following Covid-19 on behalf of clients. For further advice and support, please not do not hesitate to contact richard.foster@fgburnett.co.uk

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