Sporting rates notices to be issued

Category: Agriculture - Posted On: Oct 2 2017

Landowners and managers can expect Valuation Notices for sporting rates for 2017/18 to arrive through their letterbox over the coming days, with the first phase being issued from 2 October 2017 onwards.

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 reintroduced sporting rates to Scotland after a 22 year absence. ‘Return of Information Request’ forms were issued towards the end of 2016 to help facilitate the valuation process, but it is widely expected that the appeals process will be used to help ensure that assessments are fair.

Notices are being issued to any holding which has a sporting right potential, irrespective of whether or not that right is exercised and the land is used for sporting activities.

Ratepayers have a six month window following the issue of a Notice during which to submit an appeal and all recipients of Valuation Notices are encouraged to do so. Even those whose rateable value means that they fall within the current Small Business Bonus scheme, where rateable values of less than £15,000 receive 100% relief, should appeal if the assessment is thought to be excessive. The Small Business Bonus scheme may not be around for ever and also the cumulative effect of other business interests which attract rates, such as renewable energy projects or furnished holiday lets, may push businesses over the threshold to a level where rates are payable.

Advice should be sought from a qualified surveyor in relation to valuations and the rates process.