Lease Variation Tax Revenue Crashes

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Brendan Smyth, has continued the attack by the Canberra Liberals on the Labor Government’s lease variation tax, with the latest data showing that revenue from this tax fell more than $4 million below target in the September quarter.

“The lease variation tax is a bad tax, as it stymies redevelopment proposals, and this latest data reinforces how this tax is failing to realise the expectations the Labor Government has placed on it,” Mr Smyth said.

“The Labor Government has put a lot of emphasis on the potential for the lease variation tax to raise additional revenue and yet we have seen that this potential has not been realised.

“First, there was the dismal performance of this tax during the last financial year – when it only raised $8.7 million after the Government budgeted for revenue of more than $22 million.

“Now, during the first quarter of the new financial year, the lease variation tax has again failed to live up to expectations.

“While the Government budgeted for $5.9 million in revenue from this tax, the actual revenue was only $1.3 million.

“This is another example of Labor’s budget falling apart around them, and another example of failed Labor Party tax reform. This revenue shortfall will need to be covered somehow.

“The Canberra Liberals have called into question the merits of this tax since it was implemented by the Labor Government.

“It now appears that, even though there are many redevelopment proposals which could proceed across the ACT, these projects will not get off the ground while the lease variation tax continues in its current form.

“The lease variation tax is a dead weight on the economic potential for the ACT and should be reviewed immediately,” Mr Smyth said.