Page 2577 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 August 2015

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Opposition members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson and Mr Coe, I would like to hear Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Treasurer. I refer the Treasurer to a story in the Canberra Times of 9 August 2015 about the rates for the building containing the Manuka newsagency rising by $6,000 a quarter to $24,500 a quarter in 2015. Minister, why have rates for the Manuka newsagency building increased by so much this financial year?

MR BARR: In relation to that specific property, I understand that a revaluation of the value of the property was undertaken. The valuation of other buildings within the immediate precinct led the valuation office to undertake a revaluation of that value. That value increased.

Mr Coe: Because commercial buildings are going up in value, aren’t they?

MR BARR: Compared with properties in the immediate vicinity, it would appear that that particular property was undervalued in the past and is now valued at an appropriate level. It is, however, of course open to any ratepayer to seek a review of the valuation of their property.

In relation to the broader issues of tax reform, I would remind Mr Doszpot of a number of things. Firstly, as part of tax reform, commercial land tax was abolished. So previously businesses would have paid both a rates amount and a land tax amount. The other thing that has changed is that payroll tax has been cut for businesses in the ACT.

Mr Coe: Very handy for a newsagency.

MR BARR: It is well that the opposition would interject on that point. Because the ACT’s payroll tax threshold is so high, newsagents do not pay payroll tax in the ACT. But were they in another Australian jurisdiction with a much lower payroll tax threshold, such as those with payroll tax thresholds—

Mr Coe interjecting


MR BARR: of less than half a million dollars—

Opposition members interjecting

MR BARR: I am trying to be heard over the outrageous interjections of those opposite that you have done nothing about, Madam Speaker. You are doing nothing about that?

MADAM SPEAKER: I will deal with it at the end of the question.

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