Page 2677 - Week 09 - Thursday, 8 August 2013

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Thursday, 8 August 2013

MADAM SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Duties (Duty Deferral) Amendment Bill 2013

Mr Barr, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR BARR (Molonglo-Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (10.02): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Duties (Duty Deferral) Amendment Bill 2013 makes a minor yet important amendment to the Duties Act 1999. This government’s reform to taxation has implemented and improved a number of targeted assistance measures available to the ACT community, including the expansion of the homebuyer and pensioner duty concession schemes, an increase to the general rates rebate for pensioners and expansion of the rates deferral scheme.

As part of the 2013-14 budget, the government announced the retargeting of the first homeowner grant to new and substantially renovated properties only, effective from 1 September 2013. This retargeting will also increase the first home owner grant value to $12,500, a significant increase from the current $7,000 available on each eligible application.

Madam Speaker, eligible first homebuyers in the territory also have the option to enter the duty deferral scheme, a scheme provided for by the Duties Act and administered by the ACT Revenue Office. This bill ensures that access to deferred duty is maintained with the retargeting of the grant.

The duty deferral scheme currently allows the deferral of payment of conveyance duty to those first homebuyers who are eligible applicants for a period of no more than 10 years. To be eligible to defer duty, an applicant must be eligible for either the homebuyer concession scheme or the first home owner grant, and they must be purchasing a property with a value that is not more than the upper property threshold for the homebuyer concession scheme at the time.

The first home owner grant is being redirected and will no longer apply to the purchase of an established property. Therefore, those applicants wishing to defer their conveyance duty on the purchase of an established property, via the grant, are no longer able to do so.

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