Bid to raise non domestic rates for empty buildings from April

Property owners, tenants and occupiers of empty buildings will be subject to different levels of non domestic rates (NDR) taxes from April this year.

Non-domestic rates are a tax issued on non-domestic properties to help pay for local council services. These include services like education, social care and waste management.

Organisations that are subjected to NDR include shops, offices, pubs and hotels, warehouses and factories.

Rules and regulations in place until March 31 this year state that all empty NDR properties can be entitled on application to a 50% empty property relief (EPR) for the first three months they are vacant with a 10% discount applicable after that time frame.

Empty industrial properties could also get 100% relief from non-domestic rates for the first 6 months that they are empty.

In 2021/22 a total of 4822 EPR awards to the value of £21.7 million were made with £16.1 million awarded to 1928 listed buildings.

From April 1 this year each Scottish council can adjust the value of NDR EPR awards made in their local authority. There is no requirement for these awards to be consistent across the country.

Glasgow has received £28.5 million from the Scottish Government’s £105 million local government settlement fund to allow EPR awards to be made.

Councillor Ricky Bell said: “The non domestic rates Scotland Act 2020 allows discretion to each local authority around the value of empty property relief to be awarded from April 1, 2023.

“Due to the time requirement for the consideration of options and engagement with stakeholders the proposal is to continue to award relief in line with the current regulations for 2023/24.

“Investigation of options will commence by officer which will include a review of exemptions for empty listed buildings and committee is asked to approve the recommendation to continue to award empty property relief in line with the current regulations and thereafter conduct a wider review of options for further consideration for potential changes to be implemented from April 1, 2024.”

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