The Department of Finance is undertaking a consultation on business rates. The terms of reference can be found at the link below.
One of the key issues is an examination of rates relief with particular concern being expressed regarding charitable status. There are arguments being made about the possibility of changing the present status of charities with the possibility that exemption may be withdrawn.
The consultation is open till midnight on Monday 11th November. The Key questions can be found below.
- How can revenues from district and regional rates be raised in a way that is fair and equitable and without placing an unacceptable burden on business ratepayers?
- What ways can be found to widen the tax base that could facilitate a lower level of business rates?
- How can a fair distribution between district rates and regional rates be sustained?
- How can a fair distribution between non-domestic and domestic rates be sustained?
- What reliefs and supports are necessary and might be introduced, changed or ended, targeted in line with Executive priorities and recognising ability to pay?
- What alternative taxation options should be considered to complement or partially replace property based non-domestic rates and to allow for lower levels of revenue from business rates?