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What do rates pay for?

Rates fund public services in Northern Ireland, both regional and local. Your rate bill is made up of two parts, the regional rate and the district rate.

Regional rate

The regional rate is set annually by the Northern Ireland Executive and is applied to each district council area in Northern Ireland. This pays for such services as:

  • education
  • emergency services
  • hospitals
  • law and order
  • roads
  • social services and community development

Although a contribution is made by all ratepayers towards public services, there is no specific proportion that can be linked to the availability or usage of any particular public service.

District rate

The district rate is set annually by each of the district councils in Northern Ireland, and is used to fund services such as:

  • arts, events and recreation
  • building control
  • leisure/community centres
  • environmental health
  • tourism
  • waste management

You can get more information about your district rate and what it pays for in your local area by contacting your council.

From April 2015, each domestic ratepayer in Northern Ireland will receive a personalised annual rates statement with their rate bill. This will give ratepayers an indication of how much they are contributing through their rates to the provision of public services such as Health, Education and Roads, as well as a range of other important regional services.

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