Rates bills will drop on Banbridge mats this week

RATES bills are being issued to homes and businesses throughout the Banbridge District Council area this week by Land and Property Services (LPS).

The bill shows the amount owed for the billing period 2011/12, as well as any debt carried forward from previous years.

A spokesperson for LPS, the Government agency responsible for collecting rates, said, “There are 15,627 ratepayers in Banbridge District Council area and through the payment of their rates they have helped to fund the provision of a number of public services.

“In fact, since 2007/08, almost £79 million has been collected in the Banbridge area. This money has been invested in vital public services such as healthcare, education and roads, as well as helping to fund a number of council services, including recreational facilities, bin collection, tourism and local events.”

A spokesperson from Banbridge District Council added, “The £79 million rates income collected from local ratepayers over the past four years has been shared out between central and local government.

“Around £36 million of this sum has gone to the council for the direct provision of key local services, including leisure facilities, building control, environmental health and waste management.

“In addition, we have delivered on a number of important projects and initiatives which have contributed to improving the quality of life for everyone.

“Building a multi award-winning arts gallery, expanding and improving our recycling facilities, improving our network of public parks and children’s play areas are just some of the projects that demonstrate our commitment to giving local ratepayers a good return on their investment.”

LPS is encouraging ratepayers to read the information booklet they will receive with their bill, as it contains information on how their bill is calculated, methods of payment, and how to access help with payment. A four per cent discount is available to all Northern Ireland domestic ratepayers who pay their rate bill in full by May 6 and a number of payment options is available including direct debit, standing order, telephone and internet banking cheque, online and using a ‘Rates QuickPay Card’.

There is also a range of reliefs and entitlements available and the choice of three collection dates; 7th of the month; 15th of the month; or 28th of the month.