CanongateBusiness owners are reminded that their rates will be fixed at 30th September for the next three years. So if you have any doubts about the way that your property has been assessed then you have seven days left to lodge an appeal.

Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce have been organising a high profile campaign to try and alert their members about their right to appeal. But they have also demanded assistance from The Scottish Government in the reintroduction of some business rates relief. The Chamber have engaged Sarah Boyack MSP to lodge the following motion at Holyrood:-

That the Parliament supports the call from Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce for the reintroduction of transitional relief by the Scottish Government to soften what it considers to be the blow of this year’s rates revaluation; joins the chamber in expressing its concern that the tone date,1 April 2008, on which new rateable values are based, came at a time when the Scottish economy was at the height of a lengthy period of growth and immediately prior to what is considered to be the longest and deepest recession in recent history and that the new rateable values do not adequately take into account the effects of the recession; notes that many businesses across Scotland are facing increases of 100% to 200% in their business rates bill; further notes that, as a result of the revaluation, many small-to-medium-sized businesses in Edinburgh and across Scotland have been valued out of eligibility for the small business bonus scheme and believes that this has led to a situation where they are being doubly hit; further notes that the revaluation is also hitting public services, with NHS Lothian facing a reported £5 million hike in rates, which is equivalent to the cost of approximately 180 nurses; further notes that 3,300 businesses and organisations across the capital, including NHS Lothian, have appealed their rates bill and that that number is reported to be rising quickly, and further supports calls from the Edinburgh chamber for the Scottish Government to carry out an urgent review of the rating appeals process to ensure that businesses have the best possible opportunity to challenge unrealistic rating valuations.

The Chamber of Commerce claimed that as at the middle of August nearly 2,000 businesses had appealed their rates valuation. They hope that more will have appealed by the cut-off date next week.

How do you go about appealing your rates valuation? You may need to enlist professional help. There is a list of firms of chartered surveyors on The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce website and any one of them could assist with an appeal. If you don’t know who to contact then the industry’s professional body, the The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, should be able to help.

The important thing to note is that this valuation will be set for three years so it is important that it is set correctly now.