Half of properties to pay no business rates

The Scottish Government said more than half of all commercial properties in Scotland will pay no business rates in 2017-18.

It said that as a result of the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS), an estimated 100,000 small business premises in Scotland will qualify for 100% business rates relief.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay announced in the draft budget that the SBBS would be expanded.

The expansion of the scheme raised the eligibility threshold for 100% relief to a rateable value of £15,000 — lifting 100,000 properties out of rates altogether, and generating a saving of up to £6,990 per property.

Mackay said: “This government has consistently delivered a competitive environment for business and we have used our tax powers to support growth.

“Not only have we ensured that smaller businesses pay zero or lower rates of non-residential LBTT, large businesses enjoy a lower rate than the rest of the UK.

“I was pleased to set out a range of further measures in the Draft Budget to confirm a highly competitive business rates regime for Scotland in 2017-18, including expanding the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

“Scotland’s small businesses are fundamental drivers in securing sustainable economic growth, which is why we are doing everything we can to support them.

“Scotland already offers the most competitive reliefs package for small businesses in the UK, and we intend to keep our promise that Scotland will be the best place to do business anywhere in the UK.”