Rates Payments Discount

I also voted for the Scottish Government’s proposal to reduce the discount owners of empty commercial and domestic properties receive on their rates. It will drop from 50% to 10%.

This move is to encourage owners to use, rent or sell rather than leave properties empty and effectively subsidised by other rates payers. Properties left unoccupied can deteriorate substantially and become eyesores. They can also cause disamenity to neighbouring properties.

Exceptions to this new law will apply in certain circumstances – for example with factory units, where it can understandably be difficult to find new operators for specialised use.

At times of severe economic difficulty, I support Scottish Government moves to get as many of our properties and other resources as possible into productive use.  I believe that this is one such step.

The above was originally written for Bill’s Dunfermline Press column. This version may vary slightly.

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