Rates bills land across borough

LAND & Property Services (LPS), the Government agency responsible for collecting rates, will be issuing rates bills to all homes and businesses in the Newtownabbey Borough Council area this week.

The bills show the amount due for the billing period 2012/13, any debt carried forward from previous years and any rate relief where applicable. If any of the information on the bill is incorrect or personal circumstances have changed, ratepayers should contact LPS immediately.

The money LPS raises through collecting rates enables much needed investment in public services both locally and across Northern Ireland.

An LPS spokesperson said: “There are 28,840 ratepayers in the Newtownabbey Borough Council area and through the payment of their rates they have helped to fund the provision of a number of public services. In fact, in 2010/11 alone, just over £50 million was collected in Newtownabbey. This money has been invested in vital public services such as healthcare, education and roads as well as helping to fund a number of council services including recreational facilities, bin collection, building control, tourism and local events.”

In February this year, local councillors agreed a 2.83 per cent rise in domestic rates and a 2.84 per cent increase for businesses.

Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Chief Executive, Jacqui Dixon, commented: “We are aware of the financial pressures that residents and businesses are facing and the current economic situation has been at the centre of our financial planning for the year ahead. The council has an excellent track record of investing in local facilities and will continue to do so in an effort to support the local economy. We are proposing to invest almost £5million in the local economy over the next five years to support a range of capital schemes.”

Major projects due to be undertaken by the council this year include upgrade works at local leisure centres, community centre and play area refurbishments and environmental improvement schemes in Ballynure village and Glengormley town centre.

More information about rates bills and payment options is available online at www.nidirect.gov.uk/rates