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ACT Increase in Rates

ACT Increase in Rates

31 October 2017 SCA, OCN and REIACT

With the ACT Land Rates notices having been issued in recent months, you may have noticed a significant increase in what you are required to pay compared to last year.

This is because the Barr Government has approved a change in the way that rates are calculated for strata-titled properties, which has pushed the vast majority of apartments and townhouses into the highest percentage rate of the Average Unimproved Value (AUV) of the entire site of each complex. In some cases this has resulted in an increase of 190% on the valuation-based rates charge relative to last year. For investors the Land Tax valuation charge has increased by as much as 175%

While there was forewarning from Government of an increase in rates for 2017/18, there was no indication that the formula would be changed so that owners of apartment and townhouse properties would be impacted significantly, and disproportionate to the average increase seen for single-title properties of roughly 7%.

Published plans by the Government have also suggested significant increases over the next two years.

As a result of this, some of the key property industry bodies and advocacy groups in the ACT – Strata Community Association (ACT), Owners’ Corporation Network (ACT), and the Real Estate Institute (ACT) - have united to lobby the Barr Government to redress this unfair, inequitable, and underhanded recalculation of the methodology to assess Rates and Land Taxes.

There are now more than 45,000 unit-titled properties in the ACT, and the latest census figures show 1 in 5 Canberra’s living in Apartments or Townhouses. By capturing the support of such a significant portion of Canberra’s, it is expected that we can put significant pressure on the Barr Government. To guide that process, we have prepared the attached petition, which the Opposition Leader, Alistair Coe, has agreed to sponsor into the Legislative Assembly. Please sign this petition to show the Government that owners of unit-titled properties will not tolerate being used to fill shortfalls in the ACT budget.

Paper copies of the petition will be available at your Strata Manager’s office. An online petition is also available through change.org, accessible at this link.

The most successful petition to date garnered around 2,500 signatures. With your support, we will make an impact that will be felt for years to come.