New statistics have shown more than £156m in rates relief have been given out to businesses in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
The data released by the Scottish Government on non-domestic rates relief has shown the number of properties that were in receipt of rates relief at July this year.
In Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, the value of the awards given out was around £156,240,400.
Non-domestic rates, also called business rates, are available for a variety of reasons, with some properties eligible for more than one type of rates relief.
Some are mandatory, with others discretionary and most require applications to be filled out.
In Aberdeen, £62,981,500 was given out in retail, hospitality and leisure relief, while the same figure was £23,992,800 in Aberdeenshire, the highest figures in both of the local authority areas. In Aberdeen, 1,170 reliefs were given out, and 1,090 in Aberdeenshire.
A total of £7,132,400 was given in Aberdeen for the small business bonus scheme (SBBS), while in Aberdeenshire £13,191,900 was issued. This works out as 2,190 reliefs awarded in the city, and 7,460 in Aberdeenshire.
In the past year, both Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have seen a decrease in the number of properties receiving SBSS, and Aberdeen City has the lowest proportion of properties receiving SBSS of any local authority.
In charity relief, Aberdeen-based charities got £14,429,100 from 510 reliefs, while in Aberdeenshire, the same total was £3,737,600, for 710 reliefs.
The number of properties receiving one or more reliefs was 4,430 in Aberdeen, and 10,510 in Aberdeenshire in addition to the 1.6% universal relief. This works out to 46% of properties in the city and 80% in the Shire.
A report by the Scottish Government said: “Nearly three quarters (74%) of all properties on the Valuation Roll were receiving a relief other than the 1.6% universal relief as at 1 July 2020 – this compares with 64% as at 31 May 2019.
“In nine local authorities, more than eight in ten properties were in receipt of a relief other than the 1.6% universal relief; the highest proportions of properties receiving relief were in Orkney (86%) and Argyll and Bute (84%), while the lowest could be found in Aberdeen City (46%) and Renfrewshire (just under 50%).
“Aberdeen City and Renfrewshire, along with the City of Edinburgh, Midlothian, and South Ayrshire, have seen the largest increases in the total value of reliefs between 2019 and 2020 – all increased by more than 140% compared with an average increase of 127% across all of Scotland. The largest percentage increase in recipient numbers occurred in the City of Edinburgh (30%) and South Lanarkshire (28%) compared to a Scottish average of 18%.”
The 1.6% universal relief and the retail, hospitality and leisure relief were brought in as a response to Covid-19.