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Business Improvement District FAQ's

What is the BID for?

A BID does not replace the statutory activities or services carried out by the Council, Police or other public agencies. It is an arrangement under which local businesses improve their own trading environment and agree via a BID operating company how the levy should be spent.

Who will run the BID?

The Aberdeen BID is operated by Aberdeen BID Company Ltd, a wholly independent, non-profit distributing company limited by guarantee. It has a board of directors comprising 14 members elected from all business sectors and one representative of each of the supporting authoritative bodies.

What do I pay my rates for?

Business Rates are a statutory local tax levied to provide generic services by the local authority. The BID levy will pay for specific services and functions on top of the base-line services that the Council provides. These additional services are decided by the BID Board in consultation with all businesses in the BID footprint area to increase footfall and consumer spend within the BiD area.

What is the BID area?

The BID area (or footprint) extends from Holburn Junction in the west to Castlegate/King Street in the east and from John Street in the north to Union Square in the south.

Are all business properties included in the BID levy?

No, only those with a rateable value over 27,500 are included. This is because the 1% levy on smaller properties below that threshold would be uneconomic to administer and collect.

Why is Aberdeen City Council collecting the BID levy?

BID Legislation provides for local authorities to be the billing body. In addition, the Council already has systems and procedures in place to collect income such as the BID levy.

What happens to the BID levy when it is collected by the Council?

All money collected by the Council will be paid direct to the BID Operating Company. There is no administration fee or any amount held back by the Council for funding other services.

What happens if I don't agree with the BID Levy?

A ballot was carried out between June and August 2011 and all businesses in the BID area were given the opportunity to vote for or against the BID levy. The result of the ballot was a "yes" vote, therefore all businesses liable for the levy are required to pay.

What happens if I refuse to pay?

It is hoped that all businesses will see the benefits of contributing to the BID. In the event of non payment, the Council will recover any sums due in line with normal recovery processes. This may mean that defaulters receive a reminder, final notice and ultimately Court proceedings may commence. However, the Council will liaise with the BID Operating Company to discuss such cases and the BID Company will encourage payment for the benefit of all without recourse to recovery proceedings.

Can I pay by instalments?

The BID Levy is being notified by specific BID accounts and the terms of these are payment in full within at the end of the month following date of issue.

It is not anticipated that the sums requested should be financially onerous for businesses. For example, a levy on a property with a rateable value of 50,000 is 500.

Why is the levy not collected with rates?

Business Rates and the BID levy are different revenue streams. The Council must collect business rates in line with statutory provisions which are different from the legal provisions surrounding a BID levy.

Can I make alternative arrangements to pay?

No, the levy is being collected by single instalment bills. It is not anticipated that the levy will require to be the subject of special payment terms. However, in certain circumstances, the Council (in conjunction with the BID Company) may agree different payment terms.

When will I start to see the benefits of the BID levy?

The BID Company will consult with businesses in relation to what the income should be used for but positive, real benefits will be almost immediate.

Who should I contact if I want to discuss the BID in more detail?

The BID Chief Executive will be happy to discuss the aims of the BID and to hear any questions or concerns you may have. Please contact the Aberdeen BID Office on (01224 566291) e-mail . Information is also available on the website

How long does the BID last?

The Aberdeen BID will operate for five years, commencing August 2011 and ending in July 2016.

Will I pay the same amount every year?

Initially, yes. The levy is based on the rateable value of the property at 01 April 2011. The levy will change if the rateable value of the property also changes at the next rates revaluation, due in April 2015.

What happens if my rateable value reduces because of an appeal I have made?

Reductions on rateable value will be taken into full consideration when calculating the levy for current and future years. However, there are no retrospective adjustments for the BID levy.

What happens if I vacate the property?

If you vacate the property and it is immediately taken over by another tenant then they will be liable from the date of transfer. If you vacate the property and are still the legal owner or tenant then the same rules applied for the business rates will apply e.g. 50% reduction for empty properties

What happens if the property is currently empty?

If a property is empty and there is no current tenancy agreement then the property owner will be responsible for payment of 50% levy. If there is a tenancy agreement that gives responsibility for payment of rates to the tenant then they will be billed for 50% of the levy

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