A number of witnesses and submissions to the recent inquiry into commercial rates spoke about the impact of the current commercial ratings system, which came into effect when tax reform was introduced in the 2012-13 Budget.
In the report of the inquiry into commercial rates, tabled on 4 April by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, contributors expressed their views about how rapidly rising rates were affecting the profitability of their businesses, and their concerns about the fairness, equity and transparency of the current rating system.
The Chair of the Public Accounts Committee Mrs Vicki Dunne MLA said that it is clear that some commercial ratepayers are experiencing real hardship.
The report made 25 recommendations in all.
Principle recommendations are that the ACT government:
- establish a taskforce to review the commercial rating system to improve transparency, increase certainty for owners and consider economic effects, liaising widely with stakeholders and the community;
- breaks the connection between the revenue and valuations offices, so that the valuations are not performed from within the same area responsible for collecting revenue; and
- introduce a further mediation process where there are objections to ratings valuations, as a cost-effective alternative to current objection processes conducted under the authority of the ACT Administrative and Civil Appeals Tribunal (ACAT).
Mrs Dunne said that the report is wide-ranging and she thanks all those who took the time to contribute to the report.
The full report can be found from https://www.parliament.act.gov.au/in-committees/standing-committees-current-assembly/standing-committee-on-public-accounts/inquiry-into-commercial-rate-in-canberra#tab-1287429-5
For further information contact the Committee Secretary, Dr Brian Lloyd, on 02 6205 0137 or firstname.lastname@example.org