Barr’s LVC Tax a Triple Failure

ACT Shadow Treasurer Brendan Smyth said today Andrew Barr’s Lease Variation Charge has done nothing more than stifle the development sector and short-change Canberrans, while not delivering the revenue expected, revenue promised to fund the Urban Improvement Fund.

“The massive unit tax introduced by ACT Labor and the Greens has already caused a slump in the building industry and is hurting housing affordability and jobs, while not delivering the revenue forecast and the revenue required to fund the Urban Improvement Fund,” Mr Smyth said.

“Now with the latest figures showing that the government only collected $7.3 million in nine months from the Lease Variation Charge against the annual budget target of $23 million, it causes serious concerns it will also have a damaging impact on their Urban Improvement Fund, in turn short-changing Canberrans.

“It is impossible to levy a charge of up to $50,000 on every unit in an apartment development and there not be an effect on housing affordability and the development sector. When will ACT Labor stop hiding the fact that this is simply a tax on housing affordability?

“This government is the only local government in the country that is addressing housing affordability by increasing taxes. Canberra residents have to foot the bill for ACT Labor and Andrew Barr’s failures and are continuing to receive less in return.

“By refusing to release the requested documents and information on the LVC and the Urban Improvement Fund, Andrew Barr has conceded that both initiatives have failed,” Mr Smyth concluded.