Business rates cap announced

Kate Forbes

Hotels across Scotland and offices in Aberdeen are amongst those who will benefit from a cap to their business rates bill following an announcement by Public Finance Minister Kate Forbes.

Following a cap in 2017-18 and 2018-19, hospitality businesses will now see rates capped at a maximum of 12.5 per cent in real terms each year until 1st April 2022.

Offices in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will also see any rise capped at 12.5 per cent in real terms, in recognition of the effect the fallen oil price has had on the local economy.

It follows the Business Growth Accelerator announcement in 2017. The policy, which is unique in the UK, ensures, that new properties will not pay business rates until twelve months after first occupation. In addition, properties will not see any improvement-related increases in their rates bill for one year after completion of the works.

Attending Ness Walk, a Kingsmills Hotel set to open in summer 2019 and previously the Maple Court Hotel in Inverness, Public Finance Minister, Kate Forbes, said: “In order to continue supporting Scotland’s wider economy, we must first ensure that local businesses, who play a valuable role in generating economic growth, receive the correct and necessary support in order to maintain business performance.

“This is why I’m delighted to see Ness Walk, which we expect to be eligible for our Business Growth Accelerator support, continue to thrive under these new measures.

“A promising benchmark has been established as we move towards achieving a more secure, sustainable future for Scotland’s hospitality sector, and the Scottish Government has again shown a willingness to listen to the business community as we implement our ambitious non-domestic rates reforms.”

The Business Growth Accelerator was introduced by the Scottish Government from 1st April 2018 to support business growth and encourage investment.

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