FSB: Rates changes are an opportunity

Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities Committee has launched a call for evidence regarding proposed legal changes to the Scottish business rates system. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has broadly welcomed the proposals outlined in the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill.

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said: “Much of Scotland’s business rates system is overcomplicated and old-fashioned. These proposed legal changes, especially the switch to a more frequent revaluation cycle, should help to create a more modern, responsive property tax.

“However legislative changes alone aren’t sufficient to create the modern rates set-up that Scotland requires. A key administrative problem with the system is the lack of co-ordination and co-operation between the various bodies involved in the tax. This is the time for the Scottish Government to lay out their plans to address this fundamental problem.

“With a review of the rates relief that smaller businesses receive also in train, Ministers must keep the health of local economies and the businesses that sustain them at the front of their minds.”