Late changes to land tax rules
A RAFT of eleventh-hour changes to a bill amending the state’s land valuation laws have appeased opposition MPs and allayed the worries of property owners on the Fraser Coast.
Maryborough and Hervey Bay members Chris Foley and Ted Sorensen had objected to the bill as it was originally brought forward by the State Government, fearing substantial increases to land taxes and, potentially, council rates.
“In its original form this was a pernicious piece of legislation which had a lot of people suitably and, in all fairness, notably worried,” Mr Foley said.
Hervey Bay member Ted Sorensen feared for the viability of unit complex owners on the Esplanade, ahead of Tuesday night’s land valuation debate.
“It would have crippled small business owners on the foreshore. Their land tax would have gone from zero four or five years ago to anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000.”
Last-minute talks helped to resolve the dispute with the revamped system allowing site valuations to represent the current market value of land if it was vacant and also to include the value of site works like landfill and pipe work.
“I think it is a much fairer system,” Mr Foley said.
“But to bring legislation into the parliament and then bring in later 50 or 60 amendments begs the question whether the bill was sound in the first place.
“In its original form this bill could have been called the Robin Hood Bill.”