Scottish Government to assist the hospitality sector for the 2017 business rates revaluation

The hospitality sector has suffered more than most other business sectors in Scotland with the new business rates Revaluation which will commence on 1st April. On average, hotels are facing increases in their annual rates bills of 37% which is significantly higher than other sectors.

However, there was some good news last week when Finance Minister Derek Mackay announced a cap on 2017-18 bill increases at 12.5% (real terms) through the creation of a new national relief scheme for the sector which will also extend to pubs, restaurants and cafes. This follows intense pressure on the Scottish Government by BHA in Scotland, aided by a number of other bodies including support from the BHA’s preferred partner for business rates Altus Group. This will benefit over 8,300 properties and bring the average 2017-18 bill increase for hotels down to 12% and for pubs down to 2%.

In addition, those hospitality properties that have a 2017 Rateable Value from £35,000 to £51,000 will not be liable to pay a large property supplement as they currently do and single property hospitality businesses with rateable values between £10,000 and £15,000 will no longer pay any rates at all.

Willie Macleod, BHA Scotland Executive Director said: “The BHA urges any hospitality business which is concerned about their valuation to lodge an appeal immediately.    The announcement of a 12.5% cap on business rates for our industry until the recommendations of the Barclay Review are published is a step in the right direction but we do not know what, if any, reliefs will be on offer to businesses for 2018/2019.  If the Barclay Review concludes that changes need to made to the valuation system these might need primary legislation which could take years.  Businesses need to use the short window between April and September to protect their position.’

Billy McKaig, of WYM Rating in Edinburgh who are part of Altus Group, commented “Whilst this announcement is welcome we still advise hospitality sector ratepayers to review and challenge their rateable value, where appropriate. Relief will only last one year and it will not stop the proposed rateable value increases. Rates bills will still increase substantially from 2018 onwards. Occupiers are advised to have their rates assessments reviewed as failure to submit an appeal by 30th September 2017 will lead to a loss of your right to challenge any future rates bills, potentially resulting in excessive rates bills until 2022.”

He added “As industry leaders, we question the Scottish Assessors valuation methodology - which in many cases results in excessive rates assessments. Valuation of hospitality sector properties, in particular, requires a long overdue overhaul, which is an outcome that we will be strongly pursuing on behalf of the industry.”

Billy invites BHA members in Scotland to contact him to discuss the impact of the new Revaluation and this announcement on 0131 225 2583 or by e-mail

Number of hospitality properties that will benefit from the above mentioned reliefs.


Hotels, Pubs, Restaurants, Cafes

Local Authority Number of properties benefitting Relief (£million)
Aberdeen City 500 3.7
Aberdeenshire 311 1.2
Angus 97 0.3
Argyll & Bute 722 1.4
Clackmannanshire 39 0.2
Dumfries & Galloway 289 0.5
Dundee City 104 0.5
East Ayrshire 59 0.2
East Dunbartonshire 22 0.1
East Lothian 159 0.6
East Renfrewshire 11 0.1
Edinburgh, City of 1,551 11.7
Eilean Siar 110 0.1
Falkirk 101 0.7
Fife 330 1.3
Glasgow City 563 3.3
Highland 1,214 2.9
Inverclyde 31 0.1
Midlothian 61 0.3
Moray 179 0.5
North Ayrshire 175 0.5
North Lanarkshire 48 0.2
Orkney Islands 75 0.2
Perth & Kinross 448 1.3
Renfrewshire 73 1.2
Scottish Borders 266 0.4
Shetland Islands 68 0.5
South Ayrshire 208 0.8
South Lanarkshire 88 0.3
Stirling 317 1.6
West Dunbartonshire 44 0.2
West Lothian 117 0.4
Scotland 8,380 37.1


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