Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 687 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
Mr Speaker, the removal of these existing provisions will impact on arrangements which this Government wishes to preserve. Firstly, the current diesel exemption certificate scheme operates for the benefit of ACT pensioners using diesel for home heating, and for primary production use in the ACT. These provisions are now more appropriately provided under the Subsidies (Liquor and Diesel) Bill 1998. Secondly, in respect of the licensing of tobacco retailers, the Bill will amend the provisions so that the licensing of tobacco retailers will continue. Tobacco licensing will continue under a fixed fee scheme, based on the type of premises from which tobacco is sold. Mr Speaker, the remaining provisions in the Business Franchise (Tobacco and Petroleum Products) Act 1984 will relate only to tobacco licensing. This Bill will therefore amend the Act so that it will be known as the Tobacco Licensing Act 1984. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan) adjourned.
MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (10.46): Mr Speaker, I present the Rates and Land Tax (Amendment) Bill 1998, together with its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MS CARNELL: I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
Mr Speaker, I am pleased to present this legislation, which determines the rating regime for 1998-99. Members will recall that a new rating system was introduced last year to provide more certainty to ratepayers and to reduce the fluctuations in liabilities from year to year. This system also achieves better equity by redistributing rates liabilities more evenly. It reflects both the capacity to pay of property owners and the level of services provided.
The system is based on the findings of an external consultant commissioned by the Government in 1995 and views from various groups in the community, and includes requirements set by the Legislative Assembly. Features of the system include: A fixed charge to apply to all land except rural properties; an ad valorem charge based on a rolling three-year average of unimproved land values; a threshold to apply to all average land values; separate revenue targets to apply to the residential and non-residential sectors, respectively; and differential rating factors for residential, non-residential and rural properties.
Mr Speaker, this Bill adjusts the rating factor to take account of the inclusion of 1998 property values in the rolling three-year average of 1996, 1997 and 1998 values. The 1998 valuation of rateable properties shows an average reduction of 0.6 per cent for residential land valuations and 6.7 per cent for non-residential land valuations from 1997 levels.