Home owners and businesses throughout the new Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council area should have now received their rate bill for 2015/16.
Your bill will show the amount due for the new billing period 2015/16, including any debt that may have been carried forward from previous years, along with any rate relief where applicable.
The Department of Finance and Personnel’s Land & Property Services (LPS), issue rate bills and collect monies on behalf of the NI Executive and local councils.
From this year, for the first time, each domestic ratepayer in Northern Ireland will receive a personalised annual rates statement with their bill. This will give each household an indicative breakdown of what their rates are used for, for example, how much is spent on health, on education, on roads and other vital public services.
The Non-domestic Revaluation has been completed and bills for businesses have been calculated using the new rateable values. The rateable value is an estimate of the annual rental value of the property, as at April 2013.
A District Rate Subsidy has been introduced for those ratepayers most affected by significant rises in their rate bill that are a direct result of the councils merging.
The subsidy, which will be phased out over four years, applies to domestic and non-domestic ratepayers.
If you are eligible, the reduction will be shown on page two of your rate bill as a District Rate Subsidy.
The amount of District Rate Subsidy awarded will be shown in the Exemptions/ Reliefs/ Allowances section.
An LPS spokesperson explained how rates will ultimately be used to help services: “There are around 90,000 ratepayers in the new Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council area and through the payment of their rates they help to fund the provision of a number of vital public services.
“This includes healthcare, education and roads as well as helping to fund a wide range of Council services and facilities, ranging from building control and bin control to tourism and local events.”
Further information and guidance on rates is available at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/rates or for non-domestic customers, at http://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/rates.