Page 5426 - Week 15 - Tuesday, 8 December 2009

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values. The amendment will ensure that any redetermination of unimproved land values for error or changed circumstances can be applied across all affected years.

The third of the amendments made by the bill will clarify that the definition of an owner of a parcel of land includes owners who are not yet registered on the title to the land. This amendment will ensure that the underlying policy of the rates and land tax acts is maintained by making sure that owners are liable from the time they obtain effective ownership of the land.

Finally, the fourth of the amendments made by the bill will provide a stronger mechanism to ensure that property owners notify the ACT Revenue Office about the rental status of a property for land tax purposes. The Land Tax Act requires owners of residential properties who rent out their property to pay land tax. Owners must notify the ACT Revenue Office within 30 days of the property becoming rented or within 30 days of purchasing the property if they are continuing to rent it out.

The amendment is being made in response to a growing number of property owners who fail to notify the ACT Revenue Office that their property is being rented. In order to deal with this issue, the bill makes amendments that aim to provide a stronger legislative mechanism to support the rental status notification requirement. It prescribes an approved form to be used by owners or their agents to notify the commissioner of the property’s rental status. The approved form will provide an additional level of clarity and certainty for taxpayers that will assist them in meeting their obligations. The measures contained in this bill will have a negligible financial impact on the ACT.

I thank members for their support. I take Mr Smyth’s consultation comments seriously. I think we can always improve our consultation processes. I look to do that. I will speak with Treasury about how we can make sure that that happens to a high degree in the legislation that I bring forward in future.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Racing Amendment Bill 2009

Debate resumed from 19 November 2009, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11:19): The Racing Amendment Bill 2009 enables organisations involved in racing in the ACT to charge for the use of their race field information. This is already done in all other jurisdictions except for the ACT. It is under some cloud in Tasmania, where there has been an appeal against the use of this charge. It will be interesting to see the outcome of that appeal.

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