This area of the website intends to answer all your questions, provide you with forms to download and give you all the information that you need regarding the rates system within the Parish of St Helier.
If you want a more indepth look at Rates (Jersey) Law 2005, it can be viewed in full at www.jerseylegalinfo.je/, or from the States of Jersey Bookshop - 441020.
What are the Parish and Island-wide Rates?
The Parish Rate is a Rate paid annually to the Parish by the owners and occupiers of 'land' in the Parish. The proceeds of the Rate are applied in the payment of the general expenses of the Parish.
The Island-wide Rate is collected by the Parish and paid to the States Treasury and the States are liable to pay a Parish such funds as are necessary to enable the Parish to meet the costs of the relief and maintenance of persons chargeable to the Parish who are suffering as a result of financial hardship.
(a) any house, building or other structure in, on, under or over the land;
(b) land covered with water, except, subject to paragraph (c) of this definition, land covered or, in the normal course of tides, from time to time covered by sea water; and
(c) land formed by dividing the ownership or occupation of land horizontally.
Who pays Parish and Island-wide Rates?
A Rate is levied on the owner of 'land' [the foncier rate] and on the occupier of 'land' [the occupier's rate] at the start of the rateable year i.e. 1 January. Where a house/building, or part of a house/building, that is let includes the use of furniture or furnishings then the person who granted the right of occupation is liable to pay the occupier's rate but may provide for the recovery of all or part of the amount so paid from the occupier.
The Parish Rate is levied on all the assessed properties in the Parish at the same amount per quarter. The amount will differ from Parish to Parish.
The Island-wide Rate is the same amount for all Parishes. The Island-wide Domestic Rate may be a different amount per quarter from the Island-wide Non-domestic Rate.
"Owner", in relation to land, means -
(a) if the land is not let under a lease or tenancy agreement, the person entitled to occupy and use the land either as owner or usufructuary owner or in the exercise of rights of dower, franc veuvage, seignioralty or otherwise; or
(b) if the land is let under a lease or tenancy agreement -
(i) the person who is the occupier of the land if that person is also the lessee of the land under a lease passed before the Royal Court, or
(ii) in any other case, the person who is the immediate landlord of the occupier of the land;
"Occupier", in relation to land, means the person entitled to occupy and use the land by virtue of being;
(a) the owner of the land; or
(b) the person to whom the land is let under a lease or tenancy agreement,
other than a person who is a landlord (whether or not immediate) of the occupier of the land;
"Domestic purposes" means wholly or mainly used for the purposes of a private dwelling;
"Non-domestic purposes" means any purposes other than domestic purposes.
Who is a member of the Parish Assembly?
A person is a member of the Parish Assembly of a Parish for a rateable year;
a) if the person resides in the Parish and is registered for the Parish as an elector in public elections [for further details refer to the Public Elections (Jersey) Law 2002 and the Electoral Information page];
b) if the person is solely liable to pay a rate;
c) where two or more people are liable to pay a rate, if the person's name appears first on the Rates List; [see 'Joint Ratepayers below]
d) if the person is a representative [known as a "mandataire"] of a body corporate [see 'Bodies Corporate' below].
A member of the Parish Assembly has ONE vote on any decision by the Assembly despite the fact that the member may be qualified more than once to be a member of the Parish Assembly.
How is 'land' assessed and how is the rateable value calculated?
All property is assessed on the information returned to each Parish by the owner of the property in January of each year. The owner is required to complete the Annual Return giving the full address of all property owned including the name and address of the occupier, if let. The owner must also state if there have been any changes, including changes of use or alterations, to the property in the previous year or to the 'purpose' for which the property is used. An owner may also request a Parish to reassess the rateable value and such requests should be made in writing by 31 January and must give reasons why there should be a reassessment.
If there has been no change, and the previous rateable value is not disputed, then the rateable value will not change from the previous rateable value.
If there has been a change to the property, or the previous rateable value is disputed, the Assessors will reassess the property based on its attributes [size, quality, location, accommodation, condition and use] compared with other similar property. The owner may be asked to complete a Detailed Return giving a full description of the property so that an accurate assessment may be made.
The rateable value is computed as 1 quarter for every unit of rateable value for each of the foncier [owner] and occupier. For example, if the rateable value is 10,500 then the foncier [owner] will be assessed for 10,500 quarters and the occupier will also be assessed for 10,500 quarters. An owner/occupier will therefore be liable for 21,000 quarters.
Is there any reduction or exemption from Rates?
Certain properties are exempt from foncier rate and/or from occupier's rate and the complete list may be found in Articles 17 and 18 of the Rates (Jersey) Law 2005. The exemptions relate to certain public or parochial properties, to Crown land, to churches etc.
After the Parish and Island-wide Rates per quarter have been agreed and rate demands have been sent to ratepayers, the Connétable of the Parish has the power under Article 25(6) of the Law to reduce or remit the payment of rates due by a ratepayer on account of hardship.
There is no longer any deduction in respect of an allowance for repairs and re-decoration nor can any refund or deduction be made where a property is unoccupied.
No refund or deduction will be made where a property is unoccupied.
What do I do if I disagree with the Parish's assessment?
Once the Assessment Committee has assessed the rateable value of all property in the Parish, a Rates List is prepared for the Connétable. Notice is sent to all owners and occupiers of the rate assessment for their property and the Rates List is available for inspection at the Parish Hall. Members of the Assessment Committee may also be available to discuss with ratepayers the assessment made and you should take this opportunity to discuss any queries you may have and to consider whether or not the assessment for your property is fair.
If you believe the assessment of any area of land you own or occupy is not fair or correct you may apply, within 14 days, to the Assessors for a Review of the assessment. An application for Review may be made by an owner, an occupier, a member of the Assessment Committee, the Connétable of the Parish or the Supervisory Committee and -
1. must be made on the approved form
2. if requesting a Review of the Rateable Value must provide details of other land in the Island with similar attributes where there is a significant difference [10% of the Rateable Value of the land in question or 500 rateable quarters whichever is the greater], and
3. if requesting a Review of the assessment of Domestic/Non-domestic must provide details of the current use of the property, and
4. must be made on or before the closing date [this is 14 days after the date on which the Rates List is first available for inspection] to the Assessment Committee at the Parish Hall. Please note that the Assessment Committee may only accept an application for Review after the closing date for an exceptional reason.
If you are still dissatisfied following the Review by the Assessors you may appeal to the Rate Appeal Board. No appeal may be made unless there has first been a Review by the Assessors. Information for appellants is summarised on the appeal form and details of the current members of the Rate Appeal Board may be viewed at www.statesassembly.gov.je.
Can I check the Rates List?
The Rates List is available for inspection at the Parish Hall.
After the Supervisory Committee has approved the Rates List for the year, a copy is also available for inspection in the Jersey Library in St Helier. A copy may be made of all or any part of the Rates List. Rates Lists of previous years are also available but, if possible, please give advance notice of the years you wish to inspect. Most past copies are also held by the Jersey Archive and the Jersey Library Reference section.
The Annual Parish ’Rates’ Assembly
The annual Rates Assembly was held on Wednesday, 12th July 2017 at 7pm in the Assembly Room at the Town Hall. A copy of the Parish Accounts, as well as the Estimates for the coming financial year, have been posted below. The Rates Assembly was one of the busiest assembly of the whole year, with each of the Directors giving a presentation showing the wide range of duties, activities and work completed during the year and also budgeted for in the Estimates for next year ended 30th April 2018.
The Assembly unanimously voted to approve the Parish Rate of 1.15p for next year end 30th April 2018. The Island Wide Rate was increased for non-domestic ratepayers only to 1.25p.
For more information on the Accounts and Estimates please contact Neil Macdonald, Finance Director, on 811829 or email firstname.lastname@example.org