Further Scottish business rates reform urged

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

23 August 2017

The Scottish Government is being urged to consider further reform of its business rates system, with critics saying measures published in its recent review don’t go far enough.

Recommendations in the review include: an increase in the frequency of revaluations to every three years from 2022; targeted reductions in bills to help retain shops in town centres; a cut in the supplementary charge for large business premises; a legal duty on businesses to provide information for assessors; an extended 12-month period of rates relief for businesses investing in expansion.

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said that under the proposals, businesses that have invested in growth, face being penalised.

'The Scottish Government’s review of business rate contains a few welcome proposals, but falls somewhat short of the wholesale reform that eating and drinking out businesses need,' she said.

'An increase in the frequency of revaluations is welcome, to keep the system as responsive and accurate as possible. And the relief for those businesses that have invested and expanded makes a great deal of sense and is something the ALMR has been pushing for.

'It is illogical and unfair that businesses that have invested time and a great deal of money in to expanding, employing, and renovating and reinvigorating businesses should then have to face a massive rates hike.'

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