Labor-Greens government to deliver 10 years of tax pain

* Rates triple from $209 million in 2011-12 to $685 million in 2021-22

* Payroll tax doubles from $316 million in 2011-12 to $643 million in 2021-22

* Total revenue to reach $7 billion in 2021-22

The scale of the government’s plan for higher rates and taxes in Canberra has been confirmed by today’s budget.
The government’s “tax reform” began in 2012-13 with the stated aim of creating a “fairer, simpler and more efficient tax system for the Territory”.
The heart of the reform was the abolition of conveyancing stamp duty over 20 years, and replacing the revenue lost with increases in general rates.
According to the government’s own figures, by 2021-22, ten years of “tax reform” will see rates revenue more than triple from $209 million to $685 million. This does not include fixed levies on Canberrans’ rates bills which will increase from $28 million to $96 million. And it doesn’t include land tax which will increase from $115 million to $160 million.
Despite the promise to “abolish” conveyancing stamp duty, revenue from this source will increase each year of the budget to $296 million in 2021-22.
So much for substituting one tax for another.
But the pain does not stop there. Before Canberrans pay stamp duty on their new home or get their ever increasing rates bill, they have already been gouged by a government that has declared war on homeowners and tenants by restricting the supply of land for new houses.
As the new head of the government’s Suburban Land Agency has candidly revealed, government policy is “maximising revenue” from the sale of blocks of residential land. The reality of this is shown by an increase in land sales revenue from $261 million in 2011-12 to $563 million in 2021-22.
Canberrans are being taxed out of the housing market and in many cases out of Canberra as they move to New South Wales to realise their dream of a home of their own. Today’s budget shows the government continues to put maximising revenue ahead of the public good. There is more pain to come.

Ten years of tax pain for Canberrans

2011-12 ($m)

2021-22 ($m)

General rates

209

685

Levies on properties

28

96

Land tax

115

160

Conveyance stamp duty

239

296

Land sales

261

563

Total property taxes

852

1800

Almost a billion dollars in tax increases on households in just ten years.