Rate bills issued

Council news.
Council news.

This week, households and businesses in the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council area will receive their rate bill for 2018/19.

Land and 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.

A LPS spokesperson said: “There are currently 64,666 ratepayers in the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough area and through their payment of rates the much needed provision of a number of public services are ensured. This money is invested in vital public services locally and across Northern Ireland ranging from healthcare, education and roads to local services including recreational facilities, bin collection, building control, tourism and local events.”

The easiest and most convenient way to pay is by Direct Debit and it is now easier than ever to set up a direct debit online via www.nidirect.gov.uk/rates. Currently 59% of bills are paid by direct debit allowing ratepayers to spread the cost over the usual 10 month Direct Debit cycle (April-January). There is a choice of three collection dates available for Direct Debit – 7th 15th or 28th of each month.

As in previous years, there are many other ways to pay, including online via www.nidirect.gov.uk/rates, at any Post Office or Appoint outlet using the ‘Rates Quick Pay Card,’ by phone or in person at an 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 May 11 2018. There is also a range of reliefs and entitlements available to help you pay your rate bill. More information is available at www.nidirect.gov.uk/rates

Legislation brought forward at Westminster implemented a 4.5% rise in the regional domestic rate.

Business or non-domestic rate bills will rise only in line with inflation by 1.5%.

Following the Secretary of State’s statement on March 8, Small Business Rate Relief has now been continued for the 2018/19 rating year and will automatically be applied to eligible non-domestic rate accounts.

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 final year of the scheme with the reduction now at 20%. The reduction is automatically applied and shown on your bill if you are eligible.

Speaking about this year’s rate setting, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Paul Hamill commented: “With thorough financial planning and efficiencies, the rates for 2018/19 have been set. The year ahead will see the continuation of a public realm scheme in Antrim, refurbishment works in our leisure centres, some play areas, public carparks and the commencement of the exciting V36 Skateboard Park. We are also planning recycling improvements for residents and investments in strategic projects which will be directly linked to job creation in the borough.”

If there is any information on your bill which you think is incorrect, if your circumstances have changed or you are having trouble paying your rates, if you are not the ratepayer or if you have not received a bill, contact LPS on 0300 200 7801.