Non-Domestic Rates Bill passed

Non-Domestic Rates Bill passed

General News

The Non-Domestic Rates Bill passed Stage 3 in the Scottish Parliament in February 2020. We believe the Bill should be viewed as a positive first step to a more comprehensive reform of the non-domestic rates system. However there is still more to be done to ensure Scotland has a truly competitive rates system.

We have spent several months since the Bill was first introduced in 2019, meeting with MSPs and the Scottish Government to represent the views of our members and the interests if rural Scotland. We are very pleased with several elements of the Bill including:

  • The move to three-yearly valuations with a one year tone date (valuation date)
  • Changes to the appeals system
  • The reassurance from Kate Forbes, the Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, that there is no danger that the exemption for agricultural lands and heritages will be removed
  • Recognition of the vital part agriculture plays in our economy
  • Universal rates continuing.

We will continue to engage with Ministers, the Scottish Government and other stakeholders on further reforms and discussions.

Non-domestic rates are a tax on non-domestic properties to help pay for local council services. They are often referred to as business rates. The Non-Domestic Rates Bill was intended to implement some of the recommendations of the Barclay Review which looked to better support business growth, long term investment and reflect changing marketplaces in Scotland.

Read our pre-Stage 3 briefing.

Members with queries about the Non-Domestic Rates Bill can email our Policy Adviser Marcelina Hamilton.