No nation has as many shifts and potential changes to the rating system currently in play. Here’s a brief précis of the measures announced in last month’s Scottish Budget:
Occupiers of medium-sized properties will benefit from the introduction of a new middle-tier UBR rate. While equating to a discount of just £1,235 at most, it is better than nothing. UBR rates for 2020/21 have been confirmed as:
Please get in touch with our team to understand the impact on your liabilities next financial year.
The Budget also included a number of amendments to the various reliefs, not all of which were positive.
There are a number of impending legislative changes that have been introduced by the Scottish Government with the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill which will have a significant impact not only on ratepayers but also to anyone who has an interest in or holds information regarding properties in Scotland.
The Bill paves the way for new procedures for the 2022 Revaluation but also provides for significantly increased powers to obtain information for the Scottish Assessors and Local Authorities to be introduced from 1st April 2020. Key areas covered by the bill include:
The new procedure allows for civil penalties which can escalate up to as much as 50% of the rateable value of the property to which the request related. Our separate update on this important change and the measures that need to be taken to prepare for it can be found here.
This is expected to be a two-stage process with some similarities to the “Check, Challenge, Appeal” process introduced in England for the 2017 Revaluation. There will be further consultation later in the year which will provide us with a more detailed understanding of how the Government wants the system to work. We are ready to respond and will lobby hard to try to avoid some of the problems experienced by ratepayers in England under CCA.
This change will prevent ratepayers form being able to make appeals on the grounds of “economic or physical changes” to the extent that material changes will only be successful where the property has been directly affected.
From 1st September 2020 private schools will no longer be able to benefit from charitable rate relief, with some exceptions (such as special music schools etc).
It is anticipated that new reliefs and exemptions will be introduced for certain classes of property that contribute to cutting down emissions.
We will report further on these changes as the Bill progresses and the consultation process continues.