Slapping a tax on one of Dundee’s most eye-catching buildings is a “kick in the teeth” for the city’s resurgence, says a head teacher.
Dundee High School would pay full rates on its 19th Century home in Euclid Crescent under Scottish Government plans to end charity relief for private schools.
Rector John Halliday warned of the risk to the city’s revival from applying “utterly vindictive” new levies on “iconic” buildings.
He said: “That rates relief should be removed from buildings – which are a significant and exceptional part of Scotland’s heritage, and are used, maintained and improved on a not-for-profit basis at no cost to the taxpayer – represents a considerable and self-defeating kick in the teeth for those with the best interests of the city’s infrastructure at heart.”
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay, who says Scotland has the most competitive rates regime in the UK, revealed last year he would stop independent schools from taking advantage of charitable relief from the property-based tax, poised to kick in from 2020.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are considering responses to our business rates consultation. We will report back on this prior to the introduction – in March 2019 – of the Non Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill in the Scottish Parliament.”