Page 3873 - Week 10 - Thursday, 20 September 2018

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Instead, what happened here in the ACT was that the government just turned off the tap right away. It is wrong, it is unethical and—as a result of getting 500 signatures, the referral will take place—I hope that the standing committee is able to look at this issue and provide tripartisan advice to the government that they should grandfather in the changes and allow for these families to remain in the ACT.

Leave of absence

Amendment to motion

Motion (by Mr Gentleman) agreed to:

That the words “participation in an international ministerial delegation” be omitted from the motion of leave of absence for Mr Barr and substitute “attendance at an international conference”.

Public Accounts—Standing Committee

Report 4

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.14): Pursuant to order, I present the following report:

Public Accounts—Standing Committee—Report 4—Methodology for determining rates and land tax in strata residences, dated 20 September 2018, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

I want to take this opportunity this morning to speak on the report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on the methodology used to determine rates and land taxes for strata residences. As members will recall, this inquiry was initiated in response to two out-of-order petitions. As you would expect, given its genesis, the inquiry received many contributions—in fact, 99 submissions in all—ranging from brief comments to fully worked up examples. The committee held public hearings on the matter over several days.

Community contributors told the committee that there was considerable distress about the changes in the ACT’s rates and land tax system which occurred in 2017. Of most concern was the fact that virtually all properties on strata title had been elevated to the top marginal rates for the calculation of rates and land taxes. In effect, contributors told the committee that owners of strata titled properties were being denied access to the progressive scales set out in regulations.

There was also strong concern about anomalies that had arisen in the system; anomalies in the rates and land tax levied for freestanding houses and units; and anomalies between rates and land taxes levied for different types of units. A number of contributors told the committee that retirees on fixed incomes were struggling to pay increases in rates.

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