Thousands of businesses across the Province were counting the cost this week after the new regional and district rates were announced that affect the future calculation of business rates charges.
The regional rate has been set at 31.86p in the pound for the period up to 31 March 2016. This was set by the Rates (Regional Rates) Orders (Northern Ireland) 2015 and represents a net decrease of around 6% when compared to the regional rate of 33.91p in the pound set for the period up to 31 March 2015.
Despite the decrease in the regional rate, some district rates saw significant increases which will have a huge knock-on effect financially for businesses within those council boundaries.
John Gowland (pictured), senior surveyor with Belfast-based Dunlop Heywood Chartered Surveyors, said: “Although there are winners as a result of the decrease in the regional rate poundage from 2014/15 to 15/16, there are a significant number of losers due to the severe increases in rateable values and district rate poundage’s facing ratepayers in many sectors across the Province.
“There is real disparity when you look at the increases district by district; this has been borne out of the amalgamation of the 26 councils into 11 super councils. The disproportionate increases in some district rates reflect the debt burden inherited when they merged. Some district councils had heavy debt to bring to the table, others were debt-free, so this is reflected in the debt that some super councils have to service and, hence, the higher rates.
“We would advise every business to look carefully at their new rates liability.”
|Council||Non-Domestic District Rate Poundage (£)||Non-Domestic Regional Rate Pondage (£)||Non-Domestic Rate Poundage|
|Antrim and Newtownabbey||0.243250||0.318600||0.561850|
|Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon||0.242011||0.318600||0.560611|
|Causeway Coast and Glens||0.244776||0.318600||0.563376|
|Causeway Coast and Glens||0.277826||0.318600||0.596426|
|Fermanagh and Omagh||0.596426||0.318600||0.516631|
|Lisburn and Castlereagh||0.203158||0.318600||0.521758|
|Mid and East Antrim||0.276911||0.318600||0.595511|
|Newry, Mourne and Down||0.219679||0.318600||0.538279|
|North Down and Ards||0.210290||0.318600||0.528890|
Click here to view the guide as a PDF