Andrew Barr dismisses Liberals' lease variation charge plan for Canberra Mr Barr said halting the charge for activity in the city and town centres of Tuggeranong, Woden, Belconnen and Gungahlin would create a distortion in the market and was only required because of the impact of federal government cuts to the public coach outlet sale dates service on Canberra.
On Thursday, Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson and shadow treasurer Brendan Smyth announced an incoming Liberal ACT government would coach outlet atlanta dream implement a four year halt to the charge. The charge, imposed when a property is converted for increased profit, raised more than $14 million territory wide last financial year. Mr Hanson couldn't say how much revenue would be raised from increased development activity. Mr Barr described the plan as "crazy". Mr Barr said the payment proved the charge was not a disincentive on development. "The fundamental issue is a lack of underlying demand in our economy at the moment, because of the federal Liberal's jobs cuts. That's why we have high levels of commercial property vacancies." Development in Canberra's city and town centres would benefit from a strong pipeline of supply as the charge continued to track well. The community deserved to recoup some of the increased value of land when it use is changed for significant profit. "The lease variation charge taxes an unearned windfall gain that is granted by the government by changing the planning rules," Mr Barr said. "The Liberal Party's suggestion is that a select few property developers, not all. should not pay any tax at all." Opposition costings documents said average annual revenue collected since 2011 ranged from about $136,000 in Gungahlin to $795,000 in the city. ACT Property Council boss Catherine Carter has long opposed the charge. She welcomed the announcement and called on the government to back the plan in order to help drive its own urban renewal agenda. Ms Carter said relaxing lease variation charges would accelerate redevelopment of older buildings. "In its current form, the lease variation charge distorts investment decisions and impedes the upgrade of empty, redundant C and D Grade commercial offices contributing to what is now the second highest office vacancy rate in the country. "Unless the ACT government adopts a more realistic taxation policy, these older buildings will continue to deteriorate. "In short, the [charge] is an anti competitive tax which handicaps private sector innovation and coach outlet purses quote investment," she said. Braddon Forum boss and lobbyist Peter Conway supported the policy. "It just demonstrates that ACT politicians are now realising the effect that the airport development has had, where they were able to use Commonwealth planning laws, without ACT charges." He called for fee waivers to be targeted to coach outlet stores xenia heritage sites, residential development and tourism in Canberra. Government data showed the charge is forecast to increase to $16.3 million in 2015 16.
The increase comes as temporary freeze introduced in a stimulus package expires in March. Estimated growth would see $18.1 million collected by 2018 19.
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