The official in charge of north-east business rates believes there will be no avalanche of appeals in the weeks ahead, despite the bitter row over steep rises.
Crippling increases across the region, just as it strives to rebound from the oil and gas slump, have sparked calls for mass appeals and a boycott.
And Grampian Assessor, Ian Milton, said he could appreciate why so many companies were upset about the “sudden shock” of inflated bills.
However, he placed the blame on a government-imposed delay and argued there was a “strong argument” for more frequent revaluations.
Yet, despite being braced for a spike in complaints when bills hit doormats across the region, he does not expect any more people than usual to put up a fight.
In 2010, there were appeals on around 7,000 of the 25,000 properties.
Mr Milton said: “When people understand what their value represents, I don’t think we will really get substantially above that [figure].
“There is no cost to appeal it [the bill], so I am anticipating an increase, but I don’t think we are going to see 25,000 properties going to appeal.”
Mr Milton, vice-president of the Scottish Assessors Association, added that he could “understand why there is significant concern”.
Valuations in the north-east have gone up a fifth on average, while in Scotland as a whole, they are either the same or slightly down.
He said: “Budgets do not take kindly to sudden shocks. You have to find a way to smooth the peaks and troughs.”
The Scottish government initially refused to offer any relief, but were eventually forced into providing emergency help for some sectors.
Mr Milton said Holyrood officials had been supplied the figures last year and it had been “quite easy to see the direction of travel”.
So he suggested that more frequent revaluations than the present five-year cycle might help prevent a repeat of the present anger.
As he stated: “People would be more able to relate their assessment to their experience of the property market.
“As soon as you have an assessment that is historic, it loses its relevance in a way.”
He is confident the frequency could be increased without extra funding – especially if the volume of appeals dropped as a result.
Mr Milton said he “can’t apologise for the system” as he assured businesses his staff were “happy and ready to engage” with their rates concerns.
The “number one misconception” was owners who wrongly thought their rateable value was the amount they had to pay, he revealed.
But many others simply failed to grasp the full implications of a property-based tax system, he suggested.
“Everyone is working to a very tight bottom line so if people have concerns about their assessment, I am very keen that they speak to us direct and we give them the facts – what we are doing and why we are doing it,” he said.
“I can’t apologise for the system that I am part of. It is government policy that an element of public money is raised through local taxation based on the value of properties.”
He said it was important to explain that “if you take on risk, take on debt, take on a challenge and improve your business premises, then your ‘reward’ is that your rateable value will increase.
“It’s a difficult concept but this is a property tax.”
While his Woodhill House-based staff had to carry out valuations within a very strict legal framework, they were fully aware of the tough times businesses faced and were on hand to provide whatever advice they could, he added.
“You can’t do some kind of HMRC contact centre approach where only 60% of calls are answered when you have people on the phone who are really concerned.”