Aberdeen council chiefs have written to the business rate assessor calling for an urgent meeting over the “crisis”.
Employers across the north-east have warned they may be forced to slash jobs or even close as some face rises of up to 200% in their bills following new evaluations due to come into force in April.
The changes have proved controversial, particularly among the north-east’s business community as the figures are based on property prices from April 2015 – when the commercial property in and around the city remained at “the top of the market”, before it fully adjusted to the slump in oil prices.
Apple’s store in Union Square in Aberdeen is facing a whopping rise after its RV increased by £200,000 to £350,000.
Now, city council finance convener Willie Young has written to Ian Milton, the rates assessor at the Grampian Valuation Joint Board urging him to convene and urgent meeting to review the rise.
The letter reads: “The first minister for Scotland said on Wednesday in Aberdeen that she understood the concerns of businesses that are facing a change in their valuation and therefore an increase in their business rates.
“My colleague Councillor Jenny Laing, Leader, Aberdeen City Council and I have been inundated with queries regarding the recent valuations from businesses within the city.
“They have confirmed that the valuations in Aberdeen have increased in rateable value by around £100million meaning businesses are paying £30million more in Aberdeen city alone.
“I notice the joint board does not meet again until June 2017 and I would be grateful if you could consider arranging a special board meeting to take place urgently so the board members can discuss how best they can determine if the valuations are robust enough to withstand challenge or that the valuations require to be looked at again…”
Mr Milton was unavailable for comment yesterday.