Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (23 June) . . Page.. 804 ..
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.
Debate resumed from 28 May 1998, on motion by Ms Carnell:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
MR QUINLAN (10.54): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Bill because it is part of the Government's budget, which we will see in its entirety today. In supporting the Bill we would like to add some qualification. First of all, the Bill was introduced with a claim that rates were increased by 21/2 per cent. The actual gross take increase in rates is 3.3 per cent. You can work out the 21/2 per cent by taking the existing properties on average, calculating the take on those, and then adding the new properties after. That is the last time you see the 21/2 per cent. In fact, this has been restructured in a regressive fashion. The fixed component has been increased by 9 per cent - - -
Ms Carnell: This is your mechanism. You signed off on it last year.
Mr Humphries: Yes, you all agreed to it.
MR QUINLAN: We are not talking about a process; we are talking about the numbers you used.
Ms Carnell: No, the process. The process is what we all signed off on.
MR QUINLAN: You have used the process in a regressive fashion in relation to rates.
Ms Carnell: But this is the way we all decided to use it.
MR QUINLAN: You have increased the fixed component by 9 per cent. You have increased the rating factors by 3.8, 4.9 and 3.8 per cent. The 21/2 per cent does not exist. Had land values remained constant, then the lower end of the market would have paid a higher increase in rates than would have the higher end of the market. Therefore the formula, as it stands, is being applied in a regressive fashion. Fortunately for a lot of people at the lower end of the market, it does not necessarily mean an increase in their rates this year, because the lucky souls have had a decrease in their land values. The process that has been applied is effectively rejigging the rates to ensure, in spite of the fact that land values have decreased, that there is an increase in the overall rates take. The threshold remains constant. Land values go down, but the threshold remains constant. Again, that is regressive.