Chief Minister must strop the crippling commercial rates regime

Chief Minister Andrew Barr must stop the crippling commercial rates regime which an Assembly committee has found is hurting businesses across Canberra, Leader of the Canberra Liberals Alistair Coe said.
A Public Accounts Committee report on commercial rates was handed down in the Legislative Assembly today.
The committee identified numerous shortcomings in the 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.
The committee also questioned the “equity and fairness” of the revaluation process.
“I called for an inquiry into commercial rates because I was troubled to hear local businesses were leaving Canberra due to unsustainable rates increases and loopholes,” Mr Coe said.
“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.
“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.
“Canberra should be a place where people can confidently conduct business and create jobs. Under the current regime, that’s just not the case.
“I thank the committee for conducting its inquiry. The Canberra Liberals will assess the committee’s recommendations in detail.
“I also thank all witnesses who gave evidence,” Mr Coe said.