Rates bill delays will not affect council coffers

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Rates will still be paid to Mid Ulster District Council despite delays in setting the 2017-2018 rate at Stormont.

The news comes after Land and Property Services (LPS) issued a statement this week saying "there will be a delay in the issue of rate bills for 2017/2018".

Usually at the beginning of April each year, LPS issues annual rate bills to homes and businesses across Northern Ireland. This year, bills will be late due to a delay in the setting of the Regional Rate.

But a spokesperson for the council said: "Councils will continue to receive their rates income via central government, even if rates bills have not been issued."

From this week, LPS said it be issuing a letter to every ratepayer about the delay of 2017/2018 rate bills with advice and further information for ratepayers.

The service said it is also putting plans in place to allow bills to issue in May 2017, giving ratepayers the choice of making payment by the usual 10 instalments and to avail of the early payment discount as appropriate.

"This bill will cover rates assessed from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, as well as any unpaid rates from previous years," they said.

"If a ratepayer normally pays by direct debit, they don’t need to do anything.

"No direct debit payments will be taken until a new bill is issued. If they normally pay by standing order / on-line/ cheque, LPS would encourage ratepayers to make a payment based on last year’s assessment."

For up to date information on the issue of rate bills, please visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/rate-bill-update for domestic customers or www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/rate-bill-update, for non-domestic customers.