411 properties in the Ballymoney have received help

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North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey and Cllr John Finlay have met with representatives of Ballymoney Chamber of commerce, local traders and officials from the rates office.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss concerns about rate evaluations and their cost.

The Representatives from the Rates office explained the current arrangements regarding the evaluation process and the benefits of the Small Rates Relief Scheme.

They explained that since the scheme was introduced by the then Finance Minister Sammy Wilson that around 411 properties in the Ballymoney area have received help, worth £250.000. The scheme was then expanded by the

current Finance Minister Simon Hamilton, providing 20% relief to those with an NAV of between £5,001 and £15.000. This has included relief to an additional 49 properties, with over £50.000 additional relief this

year for the Ballymony area.

Concern was also expressed by some traders at the cost of rents and this matter coupled with the rates issues all adds up to in some cases very large bills.

Those who attend found the discussion helpful. Some of the issues discussed will now be followed up with the Finance Minister Simon Hamilton by Mervyn Storey MLA.

Mervyn is also going to have a discussion with the new Chief Executive of Causeway Cost Council to ensure that traders in Ballymoney are not landed with an increase in their rates bill come the 1st April next year.