Standard & Poor’s Confirms Rates Will Triple

“The territory is currently undertaking tax reform, phasing out duties over 10 years and replacing them with a broad-based land tax.” Standard & Poor’s, 27 September 2012

In an embarrassing disclosure for ACT Labor today, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has confirmed that the ACT Labor Government is proposing to phase out duties over a 10 year time frame and replace them with a ‘broad-based land tax,’ according to the ACT Deputy Opposition Leader Brendan Smyth.

“Despite all the denials from Katy Gallagher and Andrew Barr, the report from Standard & Poor’s states clearly that Labor’s tax reforms will be phased out over 10 years and the revenue that is lost will be replaced by increases in general rates,” Mr Smyth said.

“The statement from Standard & Poor’s validates the claim that has been made by the Canberra Liberals that any loss of revenue from tax reform will be made up by increasing general rates – and this will result in rates tripling.

“This approach accords with the analysis, which is set out in the Quinlan report on the review of ACT taxation, where Mr Quinlan shows the outcomes from phasing out conveyancing duty over 10 years and replacing that loss of revenue with increases in general rates.

“The Canberra community must be aware of the duplicity of the ACT Labor Government about their tax reform proposals.

“Standard & Poor’s is a highly reputable ratings agency and their report will have been based on information provided by the Treasurer, Andrew Barr, and by his advisers and officials.

“It is now time for Katy Gallagher and Andrew Barr to come clean and tell all ratepayers in Canberra that their ‘tax reforms’ will mean a tripling of rates,” Mr Smyth concluded.