Since the enactment of the Lands Valuation (Scotland) Act 1854, Assessors have been responsible for the valuation of all heritable properties for local taxation purposes within their respective valuation areas. Currently all rateable properties are shown in the Valuation Roll and domestic subjects are contained within the Council Tax Valuation List. These documents form the basis for levying Non-Domestic Rates and Council Tax by Scotland’s 32 Local Authorities.
Each of the 32 local Councils within Scotland is a valuation authority and responsible for appointing an Assessor who must in turn compile and maintain a Valuation Roll and a Council Tax Valuation List. There are however only fourteen Assessors in Scotland, four are appointed directly by a single Council and the remaining ten are appointed by Valuation Joint Boards comprising elected members appointed by two or more Councils. Where a Valuation Joint Board exists, all the duties, powers and responsibilities of the constituent Councils as Valuation Authorities are delegated to the Board. An Assessor is therefore responsible for the valuation of both domestic and non domestic properties within one or more Council Areas.
A valuation of non domestic properties is normally undertaken every five years and is referred to as the Revaluation. The Assessor must provide a Valuation Roll listing of these properties, which is available for public inspection.
Council Tax was introduced on 1 April 1993 and based on house prices as at April 1991 as a replacement for the Community Charge (Poll Tax). The Assessor was required to produce a Council Tax Valuation List and to maintain it thereafter. There are currently no plans for a Council Tax Revaluation and all new properties are added to the list on the basis of 1991 levels of valuation.
The functions of the Assessor are different from those of most other Local Government Officers whose duties are to carry out the policies of Authorities, as determined by elected councillors. The Assessor requires to balance the interests of individual ratepayers against those of others, in terms of valuation levels. The independence of the Assessor is necessary to ensure that decisions are made on considerations of value without political pressure. The actions of the Assessor are subject to scrutiny however, through an appeals process which you can read about on this site.
Until 1975, Statute required that Local Authorities appointed the Assessor to be their Electoral Registration Officer (ERO). Although that requirement has been revoked, in practice the arrangement continues except in the City of Dundee and Fife. The Electoral Registration Officer compiles the Electoral Register which lists the names and addresses of everyone registered to vote in all European, UK and Scottish Parliament elections and in Local Government elections.
You can contact your local Assessor and ERO in person, in writing or by telephone, fax and e-mail or via this website.