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What are Rates?

Why do I have to pay rates?

In Northern Ireland, a property tax known as Rates provides funding for public services.


Who decides on annual rates?

Rates are levied from two sources - District Councils and Central Government. Rates bills received by ratepayers comprise two main elements - a District Rate which is decided by the District Council in that area and a Regional Rate which is struck by Central Government.


Who sets the Regional Rate and what services does this fund?

The Department of Finance and Personnel, a Central Government Department, strikes a Regional Rate to help fund services such as Education, Housing, Personal Social Services, Water and Sewerage. While District Rates vary from district to district, the Regional Rate remains the same throughout Northern Ireland.


What services are paid for by the District Rate?

A District Rate is fixed annually by each of the 26 District Councils in Northern Ireland. The money raised is used to meet the cost of providing services such as:

  • Refuse collection and disposal
  • Implementation of waste management programme
  • Street cleansing
  • City of Derry Airport
  • Parks and Recreation Grounds
  • Leisure facilities 
  • Arts and events
  • Environmental health services
  • Building Control
  • Community Centres
  • Support to the voluntary & community sector

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