Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | Media Releases
Today in the Legislative Assembly I introduced legislation to remove an anomaly in the way rates are levied on common areas under the Community Title Scheme.
The Rates and Land Tax Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 amends the Rates Act 2004 (Rates Act) and the Land Tax Act 2004.
In 2001 the Community Title Scheme was introduced. It created a new form of title that allowed the grouping of separate crown leases together with a shared interest in a common area.
Under the Rates Act, each common area lease is valued and rated independently of the separately owned parcels of land. The common area lease generally has a purpose clause other than residential or rural, such as: community use, outdoor recreation facilities, or road infrastructure.
As a result the common area lease is, by default, charged commercial rates and land tax. This occurs even when the purpose clause does not specifically allow commercial activities on the common area. The Government recognises that this is an anomaly in the rates legislation, and that it should be changed.
Under the proposed amendment the level of rates charged on a common area under a Community Title Scheme will reflect the purposes for which it can be used. Where the separate crown leases that have a shared interest in the common area have a residential purpose, and the purpose clause of the common area lease is not commercial, residential rates will be charged.
Where there are any leases within a Community Title Scheme permitting commercial activities, then rates and land tax at commercial rates will continue to be imposed on the common area.
This amendment will align the levying of rates on common areas in accordance with their purpose and permitted uses. This will result in greater equity for the owners of the common area under a Community Title Scheme.
The proposed amendments would change the treatment of only the common area within a Community Title Scheme, and not the individual blocks associated with it.
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