Throughout Northern Ireland, 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.
If there is any information on the bill which is incorrect, or your circumstances have changed, please contact LPS immediately on 0300 200 7801.
Speaking about the rates bills, an LPS spokesperson said: “There are a number of LPS offices across Northern Ireland and staff are always available to help should anyone need to speak to them about their rate bill or in need of assistance with paying their bill. Staff will also provide information on a number of payment options which are available. The easiest and most convenient method is by Direct Debit. This enables the cost of the rate bill to be spread over a 10 month period and helps ease the financial pressure. There is a choice of three collection dates for Direct Debit – 7th, 15th or 28th of each month.”
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.
The spokesperson added: “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.”
“As of 31 March 2012, there were 559,000 ratepayers across the 26 Council areas. The net amount of rates collected for the financial year 2011/12 was £1.65billion. This money is vital for our local economy, as it is invested in public services such as healthcare, education and roads as well as helping to fund numerous council services objectives including recreational facilities, building control, bin collection, tourism and local events.”
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.