Posted on 25th February 2021
The Bonus Scheme is intended to provide rates relief for rural businesses. The Scottish Government have provided the following comment and advice.
Comment: Decisions over relief eligibility are a matter for Councils rather than the Scottish Government. As Scottish Government, we establish the legislative framework for the non-domestic rates system in Scotland but then it is for Local Authorities to interpret and administer the system in accordance with that framework. That includes decisions over eligibility for reliefs, with councils determining whether an individual property is wholly or mainly used for one of the qualifying purposes set out in the relevant regulations as part of their decision making process. There are no current plans to change the property uses that will be eligible for relief following Ms Forbes’ announcement last week. The current regulations for 2020-21 are accessible at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2020/101/contents/made and the qualifying property uses are set out at Schedule 1.
Advice: Riding schools that believe that they are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme should apply using the Property Class 13.
The ABRS recommend that riding school and trekking businesses that are eligible apply for rate relief at their earliest opportunity using this property class but caution that it will remain a Council decision on whether to award rates relief or not. We would be interest in the results of applications.