Land & Property Services (LPS), part of the Department of Finance is issuing rate bills this week to homes and businesses in Northern Ireland.
The bill outlines the amount due for the billing period 2018/19 and includes any debt from previous years that has not been paid, along with any rate relief where applicable.
Following the legislation brought forward by the Secretary of State last month there will be a 4.5% rise in the regional domestic rate for 2018/19.
Each domestic ratepayer will receive a personalised annual rates statement with their bill. This will give an indicative breakdown highlighting how the money collected will be invested in vital public services such as healthcare, education and roads as well as helping to fund numerous Council services, including recreational facilities, building control, bin collection, tourism and local events. The amount of rates collected for 2016/17 was approximately £1.28billion.
Business or non-domestic rate bills will rise only in line with inflation by 1.5%. Small Business Rate Relief has also been extended for the 2018/19 year in line with the Secretary of State’s statement of 8 March. This will be automatically applied to eligible non-domestic rate accounts.
The easiest most convenient way to pay is by Direct Debit and now you can set up a direct debit online at www.nidirect.gov.uk/rates. Currently 59% of bills are paid by Direct Debit allowing ratepayers to pay in full or spread the cost over the usual 10 month Direct Debit cycle (April-January).
There are a number of other ways to pay, including online via the www.nidirect.gov.uk/rates, at any Post Office or PayPoint outlet using the ‘Rates Quick Pay Card,’ by phone or in person at a LPS Customer Information Centre.
For domestic ratepayers, there is a 4% discount if they pay their bill in full on or before the discount date of 11th May 2018. A range of reliefs and entitlements are also available to help ratepayers in need.
The District Rate Subsidy Scheme continues to apply to ratepayers whose rates increased significantly with the merger of some Councils in April 2015. This is the last year this scheme will apply with the reduction now at 20%. The reduction is automatically applied and shown on your bill if you are eligible. If any ratepayer thinks the information on their bill is incorrect or if you have not received a bill please contact LPS on 0300 200 7801.
Notes to editors:
1. Domestic rate bills are calculated by multiplying your rateable capital valuation by the domestic rate for your council area. The domestic rate for your area is made up of the regional rate and the district rate. Local councils set the district rate.
2. Further information and guidance on rates and the online payment facility is available on the www.nidirect.gov.uk/rates or for non-domestic customers, on www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/business-rates
3. As of 31st March 2018, there were 867,007 rateable properties across the 11 Council areas.
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