Every property owner is required to submit an Annual Rates Return of the land owned in each Parish, over 28,000 annual returns were made in 2015. This process is administered by the 12 Parish Connétables (Constables) .
We recognised that an increasing number of parishioners now prefer to use an online option where possible so last year we launched the e-parishes initiative.
e-parishes aim to identify those services which will benefit from having an online option available for parishioners to use. The development is part of the ongoing work to review the delivery of services by Parishes to ensure that these are cost effective, convenient and easy to use and provide access online where appropriate.
Building on progress
Following the positive reaction to the introduction of online rates payments in the summer of 2015, we decided to provide an online service for Annual Returns in 2016 which has now been delivered.
The Connétable of St Brelade, Steve Pallett, who chaired the Steering Group overseeing the work said “it was important to ensure that a great deal of care was taken to make the online process as simple and convenient as possible for ratepayers. As ratepayers begin to take advantage of this online service, Parish staff will have more time available to provide a one to one service within the Parish Halls where it is most needed. This will include, for example, providing assistance to those who have difficulty in navigating through online services.
I should however stress that parishioners who prefer the paper format will be able to continue to submit their Annual Rates Return as in previous years.”
How Does it Work?
Annual Returns are sent to all owners of property in December or January each year and must be returned in accordance with the Rates (Jersey) Law 2005.
Every property owner in Jersey is required to make an Annual Return including details of all land that he/she owns in each Parish on the 1 January.
The address for the secure portal on the Parish website is printed on the annual return (https://services.parish.gov.je) or by scanning the QR code. To safeguard your privacy you will need to enter the unique code shown on your Rates Return which will then display your property details. Finally, via the page we invite users to provide their contact details so future Rates correspondence from the Parish can be sent by email or text. It is our intention to create a unique digital ID to access further Parish e-services which will link, in due course, to digital ID work being undertaken by the States of Jersey.
Teleologica Ltd, working closely with the Committee des Connétables have developed the Online Rates System to meet the needs of not only Ratepayers but also parish staff and elected Rates Assessors.
The response to the first phase of online services has been very good and we are keen to increase further take-up. User feedback is vitally important to help us improve services so please tell us how we’re doing.
I look forward to updating you about future initiatives linked to the e-parishes project.