TRADE group UK Hospitality has called on the Scottish Government to delay the rates revaluation due to take place in 2022 and which will use the ‘tone date’ of April this year as its basis.
The ‘tone date’ is the date used by assessors to calculate a property’s rateable value, the figure that is then used to determine the non-domestic rates charged to that business.
The last revaluation was carried out in 2017, using a tone date of April 1, 2015.
In its response to the Scottish Government’s recent ‘pathways to recovery’ consultation – which sought input on how government can support businesses after the COVID-19 shutdown – UK Hospitality said postponing the next revaluation was “critical”.
The group said that the upcoming revaluation “should be postponed until there is absolute clarity about the ending of lockdown and implications of closure and re-opening of hospitality and licensed businesses”.
“Any information available to the assessor for the period up to April 2020 will have no relevance at all to the valuation of hospitality businesses which will be closed for an indefinite period from March 23, 2020,” said the group.
It also repeated calls for “a root and branch review of non-domestic rates”.
Willie Macleod, executive director for Scotland at UK Hospitality, said:“It is simply inconceivable that valuations for 2022 and beyond can be based on rents and turnover levels prevailing pre-COVID – there is no prospect that businesses which have been damaged by the outbreak and a period of government-enforced closure will be able to afford non-domestic rates based on historic business performance.
“Quite simply, there will need to be an entirely different approach taken to establishing fair and reasonable values if the 2022 revaluation is to go ahead.
“UK Hospitality continues to assert that valuation of hospitality and licensed premises using turnover as a main determinant is flawed and needs urgently to be remedied. This is all the more important if businesses in the sector are to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis with anything approaching a sustainable future.”