Scotland's Economy

Rates reform progress

February 22, 2019 by No Comments | Category Economy, Finance

Implementation of Barclay Review moves to next stage.

Businesses have given their views to help shape a bill to implement changes to the rates system.

The Non Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill which supports growth, increases fairness and streamlines administration will be introduced to Parliament before Easter.

An independent analysis report of consultation responses, along with a report submitted by the Barclay Implementation Advisory Group, have been published today.

Key provisions in the bill include:

• Maintenance of the Business Growth accelerator which incentivises businesses to expand and invest
• A move to a three-year valuation cycle after the 2022 revaluation which will make the rating system more flexible to changing economic conditions
• Reform of the appeals system to reduce the volume of speculative appeals
• Increasing fairness by tackling tax avoidance

Public Finance Minister Kate Forbes said:

“We are making good progress in reforming the business rates system to help us maintain a competitive advantage for Scottish ratepayers and support the Scottish economy.

“I welcome the engagement of all stakeholders in the process so far and hope this will continue as the bill makes its way through Parliament.

“The bill provisions are designed to stimulate the economy, reduce red tape, improve transparency and reduce tax avoidance. These provisions, alongside others in the budget, strike the right balance between offering a competitive and sustainable taxation environment while delivering sufficient resources to fund vital public services.”


The Non Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill will take forward many of the consultation proposals but the out of town levy and surcharge on empty property proposals will not be taken forward. Restricting 100% empty property relief for listed buildings to five years and increasing the “reset” period for empty property relief eligibility to 6 months will be dealt with separately through secondary legislation.

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