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Rates for 2018 - 2019

District rate

We've agreed a district rate increase of 1.98 per cent for 2018 - 2019.

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. 

We have achieved efficiencies of almost £26 million over the past 12 years and members have set ambitious targets of delivering another £2.5 million of efficiency savings and £0.5 million of additional income in 2019 - 2020.

We're committed to: 

  • providing high standard services
  • value for money services and 
  • investing in our citywide and local facilities. 

We're also supporting the growth of the economy and creating job opportunities by supporting the development of office accommodation, hotels and retail as part of city centre development.

The 1.98 per cent district rate increase means an average weekly increase of:

  • 46p per month, or £5.48 per year, for a terrace house
  • 70p per month, or £8.38 per year, for a three bedroom semi-detached house
  • £1.55 per month, or £18.63 per year for a four bedroom detached house.

The district rate makes up around 44 per cent of your overall rates bill.

The district rates which are to be levied on rateable property with the Belfast City Council area for 2018/2019 are:

Domestic Property: 0.3263 pence in the pound.

Non Domestic Property: 26.8703 pence in the pound.

Regional rate

The regional rate makes up around 56 per cent of your total rates bill and is set by central government. The 2018-19 regional rate, approved by the Assembly, is due to increase by 4.5 per cent for households and 1.5 per cent for businesses.

You can use the rates calculator on the Land and Property Services website to estimate your bill for 2018 – 2019.

Information for transferred rate payers

The Department of Finance and Personnel set out details for a district rates convergence scheme for ratepayers who joined the new council areas. The scheme came into effect on 1 April 2015 and will end March 2019.

What is the district rates convergence scheme?

The scheme prevents ratepayers from receiving a sudden increase in rates as a result of local government reform. In Belfast this scheme applies to ratepayers who transferred from Lisburn, Castlereagh and North Down.

A reduction is applied to any increase in district rate element of your rates bill. It applies 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 was set aside for the scheme which runs for a period of four years from April 2015.

How will the scheme work?

We are in the last year of the scheme. It was introduced in April 2015 and runs 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 affects you. The examples look at the district rate element of your rates bill, which makes up around 44 per cent of your total rates bill. About 56 per cent 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 £125,000 (average Belfast domestic property value) transferred to Belfast in April 2015. The discount to the district rate, based on 2018-19 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 2018-2019
(£)
Total increase from 2017-2018
(£)
Castlereagh 953.44 21.88 407.83 545.62 931.57 53.30
Lisburn 953.44 9.75 407.83 545.62 943.69 41.17
North Down 953.44 2.63 407.83 545.62 950.82 34.05

Non-domestic properties

Here’s an example for non-domestic premises with a £15,000 net annual value (NAV) transferred 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 2018-19 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 2017-2018
(£)
Total increase from 2016-2017
(£)
Castlereagh 9,042.04 256.87 4,030.54  5,011.50 8,785.17 408.69
Lisburn 9,042.04 185.49 4,030.54  5,011.50 8,856.55 337.31

 

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.