0.99% rates rise in Antrim and Newtownabbey

Councillor Paul Michael.
Councillor Paul Michael.

At a special council meeting last Monday night, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council agreed its District Rates, which come into effect on April 1.

This year, commercial and domestic ratepayers will see a below inflation rise of just 0.99 per cent.

The increase for 2019/20 is equivalent to around an extra £3.92 on an average domestic property valuation of £112,000.

Since the new council’s term began in 2015, Antrim and Newtownabbey have had the lowest rates increase of all of Northern Ireland.

For the first three years, Newtownabbey residents had a rates freeze and Antrim residents had a year on year reduction in their rates.

The setting of the 2019/20 rates has been challenging given the inflationary pressures within the economy, balanced with maintaining high levels of service delivery.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Michael commented: “Given the challenging pressures within the current economy, the council is still committed to a number of capital development programmes which you will see across the borough.” These include the Gateway Centre at Antrim Loughshore; a skateboard park at V36; major improvements at Lilian Bland and Rathcoole Playparks; refurbishment of the fitness suite at Six Mile Leisure Centre; and refurbishment of the spa facilities at the Valley Leisure Centre.

Cllr. Michael added: “Meticulous financial planning will also allow us to invest in strategic projects which will be linked to job creation in the borough through combined opportunities such as Belfast Region City Deal and Heathrow Hub.”

The Regional Rate, the portion of all rates bills, which is determined by the Northern Ireland Assembly and is the same across all council areas, has yet to be set.