The review, led by former Royal Bank of Scotland chairman Ken Barclay, comes after a rebellion among businesses north of the Border over a hike in rates earlier this year which saw rises of up to 400 per cent.
Steven Dalton of property experts Montagu Evans, which works with more than 500 firms in Scotland, said: “There is no doubt that the current system is unsatisfactory and is at a crossroads with many ratepayers and organisations urging the government to take action.”
He added: “We need a number of fixes to the current system as well as hoping for longer term changes and an action plan to review how long it will take to deliver and what legislative changes will be required.”
Five key areas of change are needed, Dalton says, including more frequent revaluations, more transparency in the way rateable values are calculated and provision of information for assessors. He also wants to see the report address taxes on plant and machinery and a review of the rates relief scheme.
Tory economy spokesman dean Lockhart said the review would have to deliver “real change”. He added: “If the SNP doesn’t strike this right, it will risk yet more accusations of not running a government that understands the economy or the needs of business.”
Labour’s Jackie Baillie said: “Businesses want the Barclay Review to put forward reforms to the system to make it simpler and level the playing field across different parts of the economy.”