Definition of the rates noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

the rates

 noun
noun
BrE
 
; NAmE
 
[plural]
 
jump to other results
a tax which was formerly paid in Britain by owners of houses and businesses and used to provide money for local services. Rates on houses were replaced in 1989-90 by the community charge, also known as the poll tax, which taxed everyone registered to vote in a particular area. This was very unpopular and caused widespread protests until it was itself replaced in 1993 by the council tax, a compromise between the rates and the poll tax. note at local government