Page 4409 - Week 14 - Thursday, 1 December 1994
Thursday, 1 December 1994
MADAM SPEAKER (Ms McRae) took the chair at 10.30 am and read the prayer.
RATES AND LAND TAX (AMENDMENT) BILL (NO. 3) 1994
MS FOLLETT (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (10.31): Madam Speaker, I present the Rates and Land Tax (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) 1994.
Title read by Clerk.
MS FOLLETT: I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
This Bill amends the Rates and Land Tax Act 1926. The Act provides for the levying, imposition and payment of rates and land tax in the Australian Capital Territory. This Bill amends the Act to enhance the means of payment of rates and land tax. Madam Speaker, under the existing Act, the owner of a parcel of land may pay their rates or land tax in four equal quarterly instalments. The due dates for these instalments are 15 August, 15 November, 15 February and 15 May. The Rates and Land Tax Act, as it presently stands, removes a person's right to pay rates and land tax by instalments where they have failed to pay their rates or land tax by the due date. This means that the whole of the unpaid portion of the year's assessment then becomes due and payable, and interest is calculated on that amount.
Madam Speaker, this Bill provides for rate and land tax payers to continue to have the right to pay by instalments even where a person fails to pay an instalment on time. Further, the Bill also provides that if payment is not received by the due date interest will be applied only to the unpaid instalment amount, plus any arrears, and not to the portion of the year's assessment which has not yet become due. These changes will give effect to one of the recommendations of the report titled "Review of Aspects of ACT Rates", which was handed down on 10 November 1994. The report resulted from a review commissioned by my Government to examine, amongst other things, more convenient ways for people to pay their rates.
Madam Speaker, the Bill will have retrospective application from 16 November 1994. This will enable those rate and land tax payers who failed to pay their assessments by the second instalment date to continue to pay by instalments. Implementing this recommendation of the review now also enables rate and land tax payers to enjoy the benefits of an improved service at an earlier date. I commend the Bill to the Assembly, and I present the explanatory memorandum to the Bill.
Debate (on motion by Mr Kaine) adjourned.