Business Rates Update (June 2018)
There is on-going consultation within the Chamber of Commerce Network’s Business Rates Advisory Group on whether Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) should consider lobbying the Scottish Government to bring the rates revaluation in line with the 2021 revaluation date in England. Currently, this is set ay 2022 in Scotland and the Scottish Government have re-committed to this stance both in subsequent parliamentary questions and within the subgroups linked to the Barclay Review mentioned above.
Switching SCC’s position to 2021 is supported by Brian Rogan, Chair of Business Rates Advisory Group and Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, in line with specific business issues being faced by businesses in North-East. For balance, other opinions have shared that maintaining the current position of 2022 is more realistic and stable.
The Scottish Government suggest that in order to deliver the Barclay Recommendations in full, the revaluation date must be maintained at 2022.
Background/Context to Business Rates
SCC is currently engaged in three groups linked to the Barclay Review:
- Main implementation group: This group looks at overall recommendations not captured bu the main subgroups. The last session of this group focused on an upcoming consultation which is soon to be launched, providing a preview of some of the recommendations which require primary legislation. SCC will be engaging fully with this consultation.
- Billing subgroup: This group looks at reimagining the billing process to provide a consistent billing experience for businesses. Currently in an early stage of research/data gathering prior to further meetings. It is likely that this group will outlast the main business rates group. SCC will be looking to engage with businesses at a further stage in the group’s development to feed in to changes which will affect billing at a National level.
- Appeals subgroup: This group focuses on changes to bring to the appeals system. An outstanding concern is around the transition into the Tribunal Scotland system, and how more “informal” settlement will be arrived at. There are some missing elements in the system which may bring in further changes and damage efficiency. Assessors and Ratings agents have been asked to suggest some potential solutions to these issues which SCC will remain engaged with and provide input on.Next meeting of the Advisory Group will be late June/early July.