STA Scotland have been working to ensure business rates on solar that are fair, predictable and transparent over the last year. The Barclay review group has been set up to make recommendations that seek to enhance and reform the business rates system in Scotland to better support business growth and long term investment and reflect changing marketplaces. The Group will report to Ministers in July 2017.
The STA response outlines how the current business rates system in Scotland is out of date and not fit for purpose for valuing solar. Exaggerated business rates and other barriers are constraining deployment, reducing productivity, preventing investment and slowing progress towards the Scottish Government’s decarbonisation targets. Our five key proposals are:
- More proportionate and competitive valuations encouraging productive investment in environmentally efficient plant and machinery;
- Simpler valuations, standardised countrywide by a centralised valuation board to provide more certainty among industry and assessors;
- More frequent revaluations to better reflect changes in the market;
- Permanent exemption for microgeneration (<50kW) to enable SMEs, schools and others to benefit from productive investment in clean energy for self-consumption; and
- A transitional relief scheme to ease pressure in the short term from an unstable system.
The full STA response can be downloaded below: