Non-domestic tax rates review: Barclay report

Report of the external Barclay review into tax rates for non-domestic properties, with recommendations for rates system reform.

Annex E Glossary.

Appeal - The valuation appeals system allows a ratepayer to challenge the Assessors rateable value for their property. This has various stages, but initial appeals are heard by local panels.

Assessor - An independent public official who determines the rateable value of all properties entered on the valuation roll, along with other functions. Assessors must be members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and work under a non-Statutory umbrella body called the Scottish Assessors Association.

Council Tax - a property tax levied on domestic property and used to fund local services.

Large Business Supplement ( LBS) - a supplement paid in addition to the standard poundage by larger properties used to fund part of the cost of the Small Business Bonus Scheme ( SBBS). The remaining cost of SBBS is funded from the Scottish Government Budget. In 2016-17 and 2017-18 the LBS is 2.6 pence and from 1 April 2017 this is paid by properties where the rateable value is over £51,000.

Non-domestic rates - A property based tax, also known as business rates, levied on non-domestic property that is used to fund local services provided by the council, including those provided to businesses. The rating system is administered by councils.

Poundage - A pence in the pound tax rate that is multiplied by the rateable value to calculate the rates bill for any property (before relief). If the poundage was 45p a property with a rateable value of £20,000 would have a rates bill calculated as £20,000 x 45/100 = £9,000.

In England the poundage is usually called the multiplier.

Rateable value - For most property this is the Assessor's determination of one year's annual rent on the open market. This is determined by looking at rents for similar or nearby properties.

Ratepayer - Anyone who is liable for rates on a non-domestic property. Ratepayers include businesses, public sector, third sector and citizens.

Relief - A discount/ reduction applied to the rates bill of eligible properties. Most reliefs are funded by the Scottish Government, although councils do have discretion to create their own bespoke reliefs.

Revaluation - All properties are reassessed by the Assessors at a revaluation, the purpose of which is to redistribute the tax based on more recent market conditions. The last revaluation was in 2017, the next planned revaluation will be in 2022.

Revaluation date (also known as the Effective Date) - This is the date that the Assessor's new rateable value for the property becomes effective and rates based on the value become chargeable. For the purposes of the 2017 Revaluation all rateable values for existing properties are effective from 1 April 2017.

State aid - State aid refers to forms of assistance, including financial assistance from a public body, or publicly-funded body, which has the potential to distort competition and affect trade between member states of the European Union. The European Commission monitors and controls State aid in the EU. To meet EU requirements the assistance given under several reliefs including Small Business Bonus Scheme, renewable generators and enterprise areas are capped by at State aid de minimis (meaning a maximum of €200,000 can be awarded over a rolling 3 year period (depending on exchange rates this caps the benefit at around £65,000 to £70,000 a year). While the UK remains within the EU, rate relief should always consider State aid.

Tone date - The date at which all properties are valued by the Assessor. Currently this is 2 years before the revaluation date. Using a single date for all properties ensures fairness and allows the Assessor sufficient time to collect evidence from ratepayers. The tone date for the 2017 revaluation was 1 April 2015.

Valuation Roll - A record of all non-domestic (business) premises valued by the Assessor, including their address, rateable value and other related data. Valuation rolls are searchable online at


Email: Marianne Barker,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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