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Publication - Consultation paper

Non-domestic rates reform: consultation

Published: 25 Jun 2018
Directorate:
Local Government and Communities Directorate
Part of:
Economy, Public sector
ISBN:
9781787810310

Consultation on non-domestic rates reform on the 15 proposed reforms to legislation, as advised by the Barclay review.

22 page PDF

795.3 kB

22 page PDF

795.3 kB

Contents
Non-domestic rates reform: consultation
Background

22 page PDF

795.3 kB

Background

1.Over the period from July 2016 to August 2017, Ken Barclay led a review into the business rates system in Scotland under the following remit -

"To make recommendations that seek to enhance and reform the non-domestic rates system in Scotland to better support business growth and long term investment and reflect changing marketplaces, whilst still retaining the same level of income to deliver local services upon which businesses rely."

2.The Barclay review published its final report on 22 August 2017 and made 30 recommendations to The Scottish Government.

3.In a statement to Parliament [1] and accompanying publication [2] on 12 September 2017, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution responded to 25 of the recommendations, accepting the vast majority, and noting that the remaining five required further engagement and consideration.Following that engagement, a further response was confirmed on 28 November 2017 in respect of council arm's-length external organisations ( ALEOs) [3] .

4.On 14 December an implementation plan including substantive responses to all 30 recommendations together with the Government's implementation actions was published [4] .That included measures which went beyond what Barclay recommended, including several that are unique within the UK.

5.The overall response, ensures that Scotland offers the most competitive package of non-domestic rates reliefs in the UK.

6.To inform delivery of our Barclay response, Scottish Government convened an Implementation Advisory Group to advise on the details of a number of Barclay recommendations.The group has met several times so far and their views have informed this consultation paper. They will continue to meet to progress administrative reforms and discuss progress of primary legislation.

7.Several Barclay recommendations can be implemented administratively but others require the Government to bring forward legislation.The detail for each recommendation is set out in the table below.

Summary of Barclay recommendations

Table 1: Barclay recommendations - summary

Number Description Status Legislation needed
1 Business growth accelerator Accepted -implemented 1 April 2018 Secondary legislation (completed April 2018). Option for primary legislation- informed by this consultation paper
2 Three yearly revaluations Accepted Primary legislation needed. Informed by this consultation paper
3 Reduction in large business supplement Accepted Will be implemented by secondary legislation when affordable
4 New relief for day nurseries Accepted – implemented 1 April 2018 Secondary legislation (completed April 2018)
5 a Expanding fresh start relief to benefit town centres Accepted – implemented 1 April 2018 Secondary legislation (completed April 2018)
5 b Pilot scheme to increase rates out of town Accepted Primary legislation needed. Informed by this consultation paper
6 Review of plant and machinery valuation Accepted None. Administrative change
7 Review of Small Business Bonus Scheme Accepted None. Administrative change
8 'Road map' for future rates changes Accepted None. Administrative change
9 Provision of better information Accepted None. Administrative change
10 Relief recipients to be published Accepted None. Administrative change
11 Employ rateable value finder product Accepted None. Administrative change
12 More transparency & consistency from Assessors Accepted None. Administrative change
13 Greater information gathering power for Assessors Accepted Primary legislation needed. Informed by this consultation paper
14 Standardised rates bills across Scotland Accepted None. Administrative change
15 Incentivise online billing Accepted None. Administrative change
16 Penalty for non-provision of information to councils Accepted Primary legislation needed. Informed by this consultation paper
17 Councils to make refund payments faster Accepted Administrative change
18 Enable quicker debt recovery from ratepayers Accepted Primary legislation needed. Informed by this consultation paper
19 Reform of the appeals system Accepted Primary legislation needed. Informed by this consultation paper
20 General Anti-Avoidance Rule ( GAAR) Accepted Primary legislation needed. Informed by this consultation paper
21 Close empty property relief loophole Accepted Primary legislation needed. Informed by this consultation paper
22 Close SBBS second homes loophole Accepted Primary legislation needed. Informed by this consultation paper
23 All relief awards to be checked for errors Accepted None. Administrative change
24 Reform charity relief Partially accepted Primary legislation needed for part of this recommendation . Informed by this consultation paper
25 Relief restricted to properties in active occupation Accepted Primary legislation needed . Informed by this consultation paper
26 Reform empty property relief Accepted Primary legislation needed. Informed by this consultation paper
27 Sports relief for affordable community facilities Accepted Primary legislation needed. Informed by this consultation paper
28 All property should be on valuation roll Will not be progressed N/A
29 Commercial agricultural processing Will not be progressed N/A
30 Commercial activity on parks etc. Accepted Primary legislation needed. Informed by this consultation paper

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