THROUGHOUT the Ballymoney Borough Council and Moyle Council areas, both home owners and businesses will be receiving their rate bill for 2013/14 this week.
Land & Property Services (LPS), Department of Finance and Personnel, is tasked with issuing rates bills and collecting monies. The bill outlines the amount due for the billing period 2013/14 including any debt that may have been carried forward from previous years along with any rate relief where applicable.
Money raised by LPS, through collecting rates, provides much needed investment in public services both in your local area and across Northern Ireland.
An LPS spokesperson said: “There are 9,342 ratepayers in Ballymoney Borough Council area and 6586 in the Moyle District and through the payment of their rates they have helped to fund the provision of a number of public services.
“In fact, in 2011/12 alone, approximately £12million was collected in the Ballymoney area and £9 million in Moyle. This money has been invested in vital public services such as healthcare, education and roads as well as helping to fund a wide range of Council services and facilities, bin collection, building control, tourism and local events.”
A spokesperson for Ballymoney Council said: “Earlier in the year Council asked officers for a 0% increase in rates as it did not want to place a significant burden on local ratepayers in the current challenging economic climate and this was achieved.
“Over the next year, commencing 1st April 2013, the Council will spend £9.5million on providing services to citizens. Capital projects to be taken forward in the incoming year include community facilities at Dervock, improvements to the town’s Riverside Park and Megaw Park, extension of waste transfer facility and essential drainage works at its Crosstagherty site and refurbishment of changing rooms and toilets at the Leisure Centre.”
Speaking about the rates bills, a LPS spokesperson said: “The easiest and most convenient method to pay your rate bill is by Direct Debit. This enables you to spread the cost of your rate bill over a 10 month period and helps ease the other financial pressures we have. There is a choice of three collection dates for Direct Debit – 7th, 5th or 28th of each month.”
The spokesperson continued: For domestic ratepayers who pay their bill in full, a discount of 4% is available if LPS receives payment on or before the discount date of 3rd May 2013. Ratepayers must allow a minimum of five working days for payment to reach LPS. This discount is not available to those who pay rates on empty homes.”
A spokesperson for Moyle District Council explained: “At the meeting of 4 February 2013, Council agreed the adoption of the projected estimated net expenditure of £5.9million, which after applying a balance from reserves represents an increase of 1.82% on the previous year.
“The Council will continue to ensure delivery of high-quality and cost-effective services whilst implementing its Corporate Plan.
“Moyle Council will progress a comprehensive scheme of both capital and revenue works throughout the District in the 2013/14 financial year, through a three year capital programme. The majority of these schemes will further enhance the tourist and recreational facilities and infrastructure in the area. Council will continue to work in partnership with various voluntary, public and private grant funding bodies to ensure maximum benefit to the rate-payers of Moyle.”
Like previous years, there is a wide range of other payment methods available to customers such as: standing order, telephone and internet banking, cheque, or by using the ‘Rates QuickPay Card’. This is accepted in any Post Office and around 800 participating payzone outlets.
Further information and guidance on rates is available on the www.nidirect.gov.uk/rates or for non-domestic customers at www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/rates. Alternatively, ratepayers can speak to LPS staff in person by visiting one of the LPS Customer Information Centres at Lincoln Building, Belfast; Academy House, Ballymena; Boaz House, Omagh, and Marlborough House, Craigavon or at Orchard House, Londonderry.