In Northern Ireland, rates are a property tax based on the capital, or market value of homes.  Rates of non-domestic properties, such as businesses and offices, are based on the rental value of your property.

The income from this tax contributes towards the cost of providing local government services, such as leisure services and bin collections, and central government services, such as education and health. 

Your rates bill is made up of two parts:

District rate: the district rate is fixed annually by individual councils and is used to pay for services such as bin collections, recycling and waste disposal, leisure services, street cleaning and parks.

Regional rate: the regional rate is set by central government and is used to pay for services such as roads, education and health.

Rate setting in Ards and North Down Borough Council (ANDBC) is a balance between affordable costs for ratepayers, maintaining quality of services and delivering ambitions for the Borough in relation to job creation, attracting visitors and regeneration.   

More information about your rates

Rates for 2023-24

At a special Council meeting on Tuesday 14 February 2023, the district rate for the Borough for 2023/24 was struck.

Council have agreed an increase in the domestic and non-domestic rate of 6.8% - this means an increase of approximately £3 per month for the average household and £8 per month for the average business in the Borough.

Like many people and organisations, the Council is trying to manage unprecedented financial pressures due to increases in inflation, energy costs and interest rates.  Overall, the Council is facing increased costs of between £9-10M in the coming financial year. 

Many options to drive expenditure down have been pursued and as a result, the rate increase is well below the level of inflation.      

We remain committed to making further efficiency savings wherever possible while maintaining our services, continuing to invest in the Borough and progressing our Council-wide transformation agenda. 

You can find more details of how your rates are spent below 

How we will use your rates in 2023-24

Alongside all the statutory duties you will be familiar with, this rise will allow us to progress service improvements and capital projects in the coming year as we seek to help drive economic growth and improve the quality of life for residents.

While we are currently operating in difficult economic times, our citizens rightly expect us to look to the  future:

· we will continue to secure external funding for a range of capital investment projects such as PEACE Plus and Levelling Up, to help us invest further in our local area

· we will be continuing to work with local and central government partners as part of the Belfast Region City Deal with the ambitious redevelopment plans for Bangor Waterfront

· our villages will benefit from £1.75M of investment thanks to the Small Settlements Regeneration   Programme 

· we will be further progressing plans for the redevelopment of Whitespots Country Park

· we are undertaking a review of all our current town and city Masterplans to produce new and updated frameworks for the revitalisation of our town and city centres relevant to a post covid environment

· we remain passionate about hitting the 2030 statutory recycling target of 70% and further establishing our reputation as a proud recycling Borough

· we will be continuing to deliver on our Roadmap to Sustainability 

· we will be investing almost half a million pounds in events to help animate the Borough

· looking to the future we will continue to invest in our young people, giving them opportunities to shape our Borough through the Youth Voice initiative.  We will also be running a range of summer schemes and providing grants for sports, community, arts, heritage and ‘in bloom’ initiatives

· Digitisation remains a priority as we seek to offer more efficient services to our ratepayers

· we have also agreed on a number of transformation proposals; some will be progressed over the next year and some over the longer term

· the year ahead will see a Local Government Election with a new term for the Council.  This means we will also be developing a new corporate plan for the 2024-28 Council period.  

It will be a busy year and there is much to look forward to.