Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill

 

About the Bill

A Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to make provision about non-domestic rates. 

Current Status of the Bill 

This Scottish Government Bill was introduced by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, Derek Mackay MSP, on 25 March 2019.

Read the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill and its accompanying documents.

Stage 1

The Parliamentary Bureau has designated the Local Government and Communities Committee as the lead Committee for the Bill. 

Call for Written Evidence

The Committee launched a call for written evidence on Tuesday 9 April 2019 as part of its Stage 1 scrutiny of the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill. The Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill was introduced into Parliament by the Scottish Government on 25 March 2019. The Scottish Government has explained that the Bill's main policy objectives are to deliver a non-domestic rates system designed to better support business growth and long-term investment and reflect changing marketplaces, improve ratepayers’ experience of the ratings system and administration of the system and increase fairness and ensure a level playing field amongst ratepayers by reforming rate reliefs and tackling known avoidance measures.

Organisations and individuals are invited to submit written evidence to the Committee setting out their views on the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill. These views will then inform the Committee’s scrutiny of the Bill. The call for written evidence closes on Thursday 30 May 2019.

Read the call for evidence.

Written Submissions

The following written submissions were received:

Read the written submissions received.

Oral Evidence

Wednesday 22 May 2019

The Committee took evidence from:

  • Eileen Rowand, Director of Finance, Fife Council, and Jonathan Sharma, Policy Manager, COSLA;
  • Kevin Fraser, Treasurer, Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation Scotland;
  • Morag Johnston, Director of Financial and Business Services, Glasgow City Council, SOLACE Scotland.

Papers for meeting on 22 May 2019
Official Report of meeting on 22 May 2019

Wednesday 29 May 2019

The Committee took evidence from:

  • Ian Milton, President, Alastair Kirkwood, Vice-President, Jim Doig, Chair, Public Buildings Committee, and Heather Honeyman, Project Manager for Non-Domestic Rates Reform Implementation, Scottish Assessors' Association.

Papers for meeting on 29 May 2019
Official Report of meeting on 29 May 2019

Wednesday 19 June 2019

The Committee took evidence from:

  • John Edward, Director, Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS);
  • Liam Harvey, Headmaster, St Mary's School, Melrose;
  • Colin Gambles, Rector, Hutchesons' Grammar School;
  • Martin Tyson, Head of Casework, Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)

and then from:

  • Cheryl Hynd, Customer Manager - Transactions, and Fiona Law, NDR Team Leader, City of Edinburgh Council;
  • Brian Murison, Revenues Manager, The Highland Council;
  • Jack Orr, Senior Property Executive, West Lothian Council.

Papers for meeting on 19 June 2019
Official Report of meeting on 19 June 2019

 SCIS wrote to the Committee with further associated written evidence on 8 July 2019

OSCR wrote to the Committee with further associated written evidence on 9 July 2019

West Lothian Council wrote to the Committee with further associated written evidence on 10 July 2019

Wednesday 26 June 2019

The Committee took evidence from:

  • Rachel Blair, Public Affairs and Communications Officer (Scotland), Charity Retail Association;
  • Stuart Mackinnon, External Affairs Manager - Scotland, Federation of Small Businesses;
  • David Lonsdale, Director, Scottish Retail Consortium;
  • Marc Crothall, Chief Executive, Scottish Tourism Alliance;

and then from:

  • Ken Barclay, Former Chair, Barclay Review of Business Rates.

Papers for meeting on 26 June 2019
Official Report of meeting on 26 June 2019

Ken Barclay wrote to the Committee with further associated written evidence on 7 July 2019

The Charity Retail Association wrote to the Committee with further associated written evidence on 18 July 2019

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill: The Committee took evidence on the Bill at Stage 1 from:

  • Kate Forbes MSP, Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy
  • Anouk Berthier, NDR Policy Lead, Scottish Government; and
  • Colin Brown, Senior Principal Legal Officer, Scottish Government.

Papers for meeting on 11 September 2019
Official Report of meeting on 11 September 2019

Visits and Events

Visit to George Watson's College: 12 June 2019

Members of the Committee visited George Watson's College on Wednesday 12 June 2019 to discuss the impact of the bill with representatives of the independent school sector. A summary note of the discussions held is published below:

Meeting with Celebrate Kilmarnock: 24 June 2019

Members of the Committee visited Kilmarnock on Monday 24 June 2019 to discuss the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill. A summary note of the discussions held is published below:

Correspondence

Correspondence from the Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy on the number of outstanding revaluation appeals from the 2017 Non-Domestic Rates Revaluation.

The Convener wrote to the Scottish Qualifications Authority on 6 June 2019 in relation to the proportion of its Nominees are employed by independent schools:

The Scottish Qualifications Authority replied to the Convener's letter on 14 June 2019:

The Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy wrote to the Convener on 14 June 2019 in relation to empty property rates relief:

Culture Counts wrote to the Convener on 28 August 2019:

The Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy wrote to the Convener on 3 September 2019:

 
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