A REPORT handed down in the Legislative Assembly today (April 4) shows Canberra’s commercial rates regime is hurting local businesses, says Opposition Leader Alistair Coe.
Mr Coe says the Public Accounts Committee report identified numerous shortcomings in the ACT government’s rating regime, calling for more transparency of the system, a number of legislative changes, and compensation for ratepayers unfairly impacted by retrospective rates reassessments.
Mr Coe says he called for an inquiry into commercial rates because he was troubled to hear local businesses were leaving Canberra due to unsustainable rates increases and loopholes.
“The evidence presented to the committee demonstrates businesses in Canberra are clearly hurting as a result of the Chief Minister’s crippling commercial rates system,” he says.
“The financial pain being felt by so many local businesses is compelling and needs to be carefully considered by this government.
“Commercial property owners have seen the value of their property decrease due to reduced yield as a result of increasing rates.
“Some commercial properties have seen their rates increase by 300 per cent.
“There is a real risk that Canberra will lose even more businesses and jobs if the government doesn’t stop its commercial rates regime.”
Mr Coe says Canberra should be a place where people can confidently conduct business and create jobs.
“Under the current regime, that’s just not the case,” he says.