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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 July 2019) . . Page.. 2426 ..


What, you might ask, have all these got in common, apart from the fact that they are recommendations from the standing committee’s report on commercial rates? All these have to do with some of the issues that we have with our current commercial and residential rating system, which is based entirely on the land value of the thing that you are rating. The Greens have for quite a while been suggesting that we should very seriously look at changing this to make the valuation based on the market value of the property, rather than the land value. The relationship of these particular recommendations in many cases would solve the problem.

Look at recommendation 5, which seeks to grant relief to commercial lessees who experience extended vacancies in their properties. If you have an extended vacancy in your property, the market value of it is going to go down. It is a self-correcting mechanism.

Recommendation 4 is something more predictable. You can work out what will happen if the uses in your crown lease change. If you base it on market value then the uses could change and, if they are uses that you cannot in fact actually use, the market value will not change and you will not have a problem, whereas at present the argument is made, sometimes in a way that seems unfair, that the value of the underlying land has changed because the potential uses have changed. If on top of that piece of land you have already got a 20-storey building which is in good condition, you are not going to be knocking it down any time soon just because there are some different options.

Recommendation 9 is going in the direction I am going but does not actually get there. It says:

… the ACT government considers amending the Rates Act … to provide for commercial rates to be levied on the basis of actual, activated uses rather than all the possible uses.

Again, it is going to the point that what we should be levying our rates on is the actual value of the thing we are rating—in other words, the market value, not the land value.

There are many commercial properties that are not one storey. They are multistorey with potentially many uses within the one property. Levying the rates on the market value rather than the land value would be a much fairer way. I would point out that in other jurisdictions—Victoria and South Australia, to be precise—they levy their rates on market value and I put forward this as a superior response to the committee’s recommendations.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Planning and Development Act—exercise of call-in-powers

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Advanced Technology and Space Industries) (3.28): Pursuant to standing order 211, I move:


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