The Scottish Countryside Alliance (SCA) welcomes amendments to the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill, in the name of Alex Fergusson MSP and Mike Russell MSP, which would remove the reintroduction of sporting rates.
The SCA believes much of the information being considered by the environment committee is irrelevant to the reintroduction of rates and we remain unconvinced that a clear, evidence-based rationale for taxing shootings and deer forests, while continuing to exempt agriculture and forestry, has been proven.
Further to this, we believe the information provided to the committee, about which areas will be liable for valuation, does not tally with the views provided by the Scottish Assessors Association during oral evidence. This is a fundamental aspect of the reintroduction and both the policy makers and those who have a statutory duty to complete the assessments should concur.
Director for Scotland Jamie Stewart said: “The Scottish Countryside Alliance supports a wide range of businesses that depend wholly on a shooting enterprise or an association with a healthy shooting and field sports sector. We are gravely concerned that the reinstatement of sporting rates will damage or potentially end a range of shooting activities, deliver a massive blow on downstream traders and have a significant impact on Scotland’s tourist industry.
“It is our understanding that the whole non-domestic rates review system is due to be reviewed. It would therefore seem sensible to pause the current proposal, gather more evidence and then make an informed decision at the time of the review.”