City council leaders have written to Finance Secretary Derek Mackay calling for Aberdeen to retain £28 million in business rates.
The letter claims the council will generate around £255.6m in business rates for 2019-20, which is around £28m more than the target set from Scottish Government.
But the letter, which has been signed by the three group leaders of the ruling Conservative, Labour and independent administration, has been branded a “petty, pathetic, political stunt” by opposition councillors.
Aberdeen City Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden said: “We have a solution for this year, which should be to the liking of the SNP Government given they have said on numerous occasions that all local authorities get to keep all money generated by business rates.
“Our officers have estimated that for 2018-19 we will have generated £28m more in business rates than the Scottish Government asked us to collect.
“Therefore, it is reasonable for the cabinet secretary to honour his commitment and allow us to retain the extra £28m surplus rather than diverting the money to other local authorities in the central belt which, as Aberdeen citizens are well aware, has happened in the past.”
The city’s general revenue funding, to be spent on public services, has fallen to £57.038m for 2019-20, a reduction of £59.503m on the £117.541m the council received in 2016-17.
However, the city will also receive funding from the collection of business rates of £258.56m
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However, SNP group leader Stephen Flynn said: “The precedent the administration are arguing for, which would effectively be the devolution of business rates, poses a potentially huge risk to this council.
“When the council collects less in business rates than has been estimated, that funding gap has to be met. Under the scenario proposed by the administration the council would pick up that tab whereas, at present, the Scottish Government does.
“Between 2015 and 2017, this would have cost Aberdeen City Council £18.5m in lost revenue.”
Liberal Democrat group leader Ian Yuill said he was happy to sign the letter but added he wanted all political leaders to agree on the wording.
He said: “I’m concerned the administration have preceded to send this without the courtesy of saying. That’s shameful and it suggests they’re more concerned with making political gripes than a united front.”