North East MSP Mike Rumbles and Cllr Craig Duncan have demanded that the First Minister exempt the new Regional Performance Centre for Sport in Dundee from a potential tax bill of £800,000, if the Scottish Government decides to introduce business rates for new community sports and arts facilities.
Concerns were raised about the additional costs for the Centre after recommendations in the Barclay Review suggested that the Scottish Government should end the rates relief for new build arts and sports centres.
Mr Rumbles said: “Any suggestion that the new centre should be taxed by the Scottish Government is absurd. The benefits the centre will bring to the community far outweigh the potential tax grab for the Scottish Government.
“The project is well underway and the council and developers have spent years weighing up the potential costs and design of the centre. The First Minister must provide assurances that the Centre will retain its rates relief status, now and for the foreseeable future.”
Cllr Duncan, who sits on Dundee City Council Regional Performance Centre Project Board said: “The Scottish Government has a duty to honour its current rates status for projects that are already underway. We need answers from the First minister but, unfortunately so far, she refused to rule out hitting Dundee with this sort of tax bill.
“I would very strongly argue that had Dundee City Council known about this possible £800,000 per year tax bill, we may have thought twice before proceeding. It is therefore up to First Minister to retain a level playing field for this new ALEO project which is already under construction.”