In Northern Ireland, rates are a property tax based on the capital, or market value of homes.
Rates of non-domestic properties, such as businesses and offices, are based on the rental value of your property.
income from this tax contributes towards the cost of providing local
government services, such as leisure services and bin collections, and
central government services, such as education and health.
Your rates bill
Your rates bill is made up of two parts:
The district rate is fixed annually by individual councils and is used to pay for services such as bin collections, recycling and waste disposal, leisure services, street cleaning, parks, events, community services and local regeneration.
The regional rate is set by central government and is used to pay for services such as roads, education and health.
Land and Property Services (LPS) is revaluing all non-domestic properties in Northern Ireland for rates. A new Valuation List came in to effect on 1 April 2020 based on rental values as at 1 April 2018.
More information is available on the Department of Finance website.
Types of rates
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. This is the amount of money we need from ratepayers to allow us to deliver our planned services.
The district rate is fixed annually by each council and the rate will vary from council to council.
What does it pay for?
Income from the district rate is used to meet the costs of providing services such as:
- leisure centres
- bin collections and waste disposal
- street cleaning
- community services
- parks such as Botanic Gardens
- events such as festivals
- economic initiatives
- building control
Income is also used to maintain the following venues:
- Belfast Zoo
- Belfast Waterfront
- Ulster Hall
- Belfast City Hall
- Belfast Castle
- Malone House
- St George's Market
- Smithfield Market.
Find out what other services we provide and how we use your district rates.
The Department of Finance sets the regional rates as a contribution towards services provided by central government departments.
Regional rates are the same throughout Northern Ireland.
What does it pay for?
Income from the regional rate is used to meet the costs of providing services such as:
- personal social services