Today’s date is the 3rd of April and according to the Scottish Assessor’s office ‘Shooting Rights will appear in the Valuation Roll for non-domestic rates from 01/04/2017.’ That being said it is no surprise that the values, or at least the majority of values, have not appeared in the roll as the Assessor’s deadline for completion of the task is actually the 31st of March 2018.
The scale and challenging nature of the task has meant that it is always likely that a significant number of the values would be backdated by the Assessor. Owners should, however, be aware that a rates notice could drop through the letterbox at any moment.
When said notice does arrive there are two main points worth bearing in mind. The premise of Sporting rateable values is the same as all others i.e. the hypothetical rental value that would be struck in the open market for the subjects between a willing tenant and a willing landlord. Taking this into account when looking at your valuation; do you think that an individual or group would lease your sporting rights, for the number in front of you? If you think it is too high then you are, of course, able to lodge an appeal.
Secondly if you are not familiar with rates payments then it may well be that you qualify for small business rates relief. The detail can be found here
Whilst we acknowledge that it is something of a longshot; as the date given for the reintroduction of Sporting Rates was the 1st April perhaps there will be an announcement in short order informing all and sundry that it has been an elaborate April fool. We will wait and see.