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A-Z: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Rates for 2015 - 2016

District rate

We have agreed a district rates freeze for 2015-2016. This is the third consecutive year that we've frozen the district rate. We've achieved this freeze while investing in our city through our Investment Programme and delivering £2 million of efficiency savings in the last year, all while providing a high level of service.

Each year we estimate our income and expenditure for the next financial year. Based on these estimates, we set a district rate for that financial year. The money that we get from district rates enables us to deliver our services during the year.

The district rate makes up around 45% of your overall rates bill. 

Regional rate

The regional rate makes up around 55% of your total rates bill and is set by central government. The regional rate, subject to Executive approval, is due to increase by 1.4 per cent. With a 1.4 per cent increase in the regional rate, and no increase to the district rate, the overall effect on our existing ratepayers will be an increase of around 0.78 per cent in total. This means an average weekly increase of:

  • 9p per week, or £4.83 per year for a terrace house
  • 14p per week, or £7.38 per year for a three bedroom semi detached house
  • 32p per week, or £16.40 per year for a four bedroom detached house.

Information for transferring rate payers

The Department of Finance and Personnel has set out details for a district rates convergence scheme for ratepayers joining the new council areas. The scheme will come into effect on 1 April 2015.

What is the district rates convergence scheme?

The scheme will prevent ratepayers from receiving a sudden increase in rates as a result of local government reform. In Belfast this scheme will apply to ratepayers transferring from Lisburn, Castlereagh and North Down. 

A reduction will be applied to any increase in district rate element of your rates bill. It will apply to both domestic and non-domestic ratepayers who would face an increase in rates as a result of the merger of district councils.

Overall, £30 million has been set aside for the scheme which will run for a period of four years from April 2015.

Who does the scheme apply to?

The scheme applies to any domestic or non-domestic ratepayer who experiences an increase in rates as a result of local government reform.

How will the scheme work?

The scheme will be introduced from April 2015 and will run for four years. The following levels of discount will be applied to the district rate increase in your rates bill over that time:

Period  Year  Discount on district rate increase
Year one 2015-2016  80% discount 
Year two    2016-2017 60% discount 
Year three  2017-2018 40% discount 
Year four  2018 -2019 20% discount 

 

What does this mean for me?

The tables below show examples of how the rates convergence scheme will affect you. The examples look at the district rate element of your rates bill, which makes up 45% of your total rates bill. The remaining 55% of your rates bill (the regional rate) shouldn't be affected by local government boundary changes.

The discount calculations below are based on the average capital value of a domestic property and the average net annual valuation (NAV) of an office building. The actual calculation for each individual property will be made by the Land and Property Service and applied directly to your rates bill.

Domestic properties

Here’s an example for a home valued at £115,000 (average Belfast domestic property value) transferring to Belfast in April 2015. The discount to the district rate, based on 2014-15 district rates, would be applied as follows:

Transferring area District rates bill before relief
(£)
District rate relief 
(£)
District rate 
(£)
Regional rate
(£)
Total rate bill for 2015-2016 
(£)
Total increase from 2014-2015 
(£)
Lisburn 355.81 35.88 319.93 464.79 784.72 19.42
Castlereagh 355.81 80.50 275.31 464.79 740.10 31.49
North Down 355.81 9.66 346.15 464.79 810.94 16.43

 

Non-domestic properties

Here’s an example for non-domestic premises with a £12,728 net annual value (NAV) transferring to Belfast in April 2015. 

This example does not take other rates relief which may apply to non-domestic properties and any effect of the non-domestic revaluation.

The discounted district rate, based on 2014-15 district rates, would be applied as follows:

Transferring area  District rates bill before relief 
(£)
District rate relief 
(£)
District rate 
(£)
Regional rate 
(£)
Total rate bill for 2015-2016 
(£)
Total increase from 2014-2015
(£)
Lisburn 3,243.32 629.57 2,613.76 4,055.13 6,668.88 77.05
Castlereagh 3,243.32 871.86 2,371.47 4,055.13 6,426.59 124.46

 

When will I know how much my rates will be for next year?

We have agreed a zero per cent increase on the district rate for Belfast for 2015-2016. All ratepayers will receive their 2015-2016 rates bill, which is made up of the district rate (45%) and regional rate (55%) set by central government, from the Land and Property Service in March 2015.

Do I have to apply for district rates convergence?

No, the discount will be automatically applied to your rates bill.

How can I find out more information?

The Department of Finance and Personnel set out details of the rates convergence scheme that came into effect on 1 April 2015. For more information, please visit the Department of Finance and Personnel website.


Contact us
Land and Property Services Northern Ireland (external organisation)
0300 200 7801
Lanyon Plaza
7 Lanyon Place
Town Parks
Belfast
BT1 3LP