Date lodged: 16 February 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what action it will take in light of reports that over 650 properties covered by the business rates transitional relief scheme saw their net rates bills increase by more than 14.75%.
Answered by: Derek Mackay 6 March 2018
Following the 2017 revaluation the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) thresholds were significantly increased from £10,000 to £15,000 rateable value and a transitional scheme was introduced.
Both schemes are significantly more generous than their equivalents elsewhere in the UK with the SBBS offering 100% relief for properties with a rateable value under £15,000 and a transitional scheme which is fully funded from by the Scottish Government budget, unlike the transitional relief offered by the UK Government which increases bills for some businesses to fund the scheme.
Because of the generous nature of both reliefs, in designing both the SBBS and transitional schemes and the interaction between the two a balance had to be struck between affordability and helping the maximum number of small businesses.
Local Councils also have wide ranging powers to introduce their own relief schemes to meet local circumstances, including to cap bill rises for individual properties.