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The new rates regime

By 20 June 2014 66

household-rates

I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but I have to again raise that I’m extremely worried about the direction this city is heading in re household rates.

I’m a homeowner and I intend to stay in my house for a long time.

I understand that on average, Canberra homeowners move every 7 years, but I intend to be well above that average.

Those of us who do stay in a home for 10, 15 or 20 years will end up paying more than we did under the old system.  We won’t benefit from the saving of the reduction in stamp duty.

I know this hasn’t been in the news cycle of late, but I think it should be.

We’re setting up Canberra to be one of the most expensive places in which to live in the entire country, if it isn’t already. Sure, you won’t have to pay that dastardly stamp duty when you buy a house, but if you’re got to pay 10K in rates every year, what’s the diff.

I still can’t believe that Andrew Barr’s only answer to this when questioned in a some Legislative Assembly committee, his only answer was get a higher paid job, or negotiate for more pay.

What planet are these people from.

I’m not a huge fan of Jeremy Hanson, or for that matter Zed Seselja, but I have to concur with their assertion that our rates will triple in around a decade.  Where do you think rents will go ? In a city which is already way to expensive to rent in, it’ll just get worse.

How sad if we have hundreds of Canberrans who make the call to move out of town because they can’t afford to pay the rates.

I guess the big question is, could the Libs wind this all back should be elected, given that they’re going to be so busy ripping light rail out of the ground ?

 

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66 Responses to The new rates regime
#1
Mark Parton11:03 am, 20 Jun 14

I get so many calls to my radio program saying exactly this. I think the Government is now more aware of the problems connected to this policy but they must remain committed to it for obvious reasons. More than a lot of cities in Australia, Canberra has always been a great place to live, if you make lots of money.

#2
BreeGirl11:05 am, 20 Jun 14

The Chief Minister still says that the Liberals were lying when about rates tripling. Difficult to know who to believe on this, but it looks to me as though rates will triple well before 2022

#3
arescarti4211:09 am, 20 Jun 14

“Those of us who do stay in a home for 10, 15 or 20 years will end up paying more than we did under the old system. We won’t benefit from the saving of the reduction in stamp duty.”

Probably. Pretty much any change to any Government policy will result in some winners and some losers.

“We’re setting up Canberra to be one of the most expensive places in which to live in the entire country, if it isn’t already. Sure, you won’t have to pay that dastardly stamp duty when you buy a house, but if you’re got to pay 10K in rates every year, what’s the diff.”

Exactly the opposite. Moving revenue away from stamp duties and towards land taxes/rates is extremely sensible economic policy. The ACT Government has done a lot of really dumb things, but this is certainly not one of them.

Transactions taxes (like stamp duty) are a horribly inefficient burden on the economy that destroy wealth, unlike taxes on land and property which are immensely more efficient. Getting rid of stamp duty will give the ACT a competitive advantage over states that have it.

“I guess the big question is, could the Libs wind this all back should be elected, given that they’re going to be so busy ripping light rail out of the ground?”

If the Libs are as committed to lower taxes and responsible economic management as they like to say they are, they’d continue full steam ahead with higher rates.

#4
Innovation12:32 pm, 20 Jun 14

Using stamp duty to meet ongoing and future State and Territory costs is a flawed revenue base. Obtaining revenue through rates is a much better way to reflect and recover Government costs. As well it has an environmental benefit in that it better facilitates owners moving houses more regularly as their life changes – potentially freeing up land and building use and potentially reducing intertown travel needs.

There are several problems though which the Government appears to happily be ignoring:
1/ existing homeowners have not been given any credit for stamp duty paid on existing properties (eg they could receive a reduction based on how long they have owned their home for);
2/ some homeowners have improved or redeveloped properties based on factors such as the planning rules and rates system in force at the time of their development. Ongoing changes to planning rules – especially to allow ever increasing densities – and the new rates system could significantly devalue building structures for these people without them receiving any compensation by the Government.
3/ Government accountability for revenue received is reduced. For example, Governments can provide services and funding direct to key electorate or politically sensitive areas (eg light rail) but quickly raise revenue from all over Canberra – especially in suburbs with higher land value.
4/ Homeowners must have sufficient funds to pay rates which will now be much higher. Telling homeowners to “get a pay rise” just because their land is now worth more is quite naive (eg many older and/or unskilled employees have little or no bargaining power) and completely disregards the circumstances of most retirees.
5/ I suspect that the new rates system at a Territory level (and particularly if or when this occurs in the States) has the potential to affect Federal revenues especially if the properties are used for investment purposes.

#5
JC12:52 pm, 20 Jun 14

Two questions.

1. What is the alternative?
2. Why should those that move house more often bear the burden? Surely there must be a better way, refer to Q1.

#6
miz1:00 pm, 20 Jun 14

Doesn’t exactly encourage people to buy now either given you will still have to knowingly pay stamp duty effectively twice. Why can’t they just scrap it in one go?

#7
dungfungus1:04 pm, 20 Jun 14

It’s not just rates that are rising either. It is all contributing to less disposable income, especially hurting those on fixed incomes (and those on decreasing incomes if you believe the socialist propaganda).
I think the ACT Government has made some huge blunders as far as balancing the budget is concerned and they will soon be campaigning louder for an increase in the GST which will punish us even more.
There are signs that the real estate bubble has popped so we will see our wealth decrease concurrently with big increases in cost of living. An oil price rise shock is likely soon so that will add to the cost of running our cars and also increase the price (freight) of consumer costs etc. etc.
Inflation is certain to rise which could be good news for those with large home mortgages because it it will be easier to pay off yesterday’s debts with tomorrows’ income.
I think Point #1 in post #4 is an excellent idea.

#8
Maya1231:23 pm, 20 Jun 14

dungfungus said :

It’s not just rates that are rising either. It is all contributing to less disposable income, especially hurting those on fixed incomes (and those on decreasing incomes if you believe the socialist propaganda).
I think the ACT Government has made some huge blunders as far as balancing the budget is concerned and they will soon be campaigning louder for an increase in the GST which will punish us even more.
There are signs that the real estate bubble has popped so we will see our wealth decrease concurrently with big increases in cost of living. An oil price rise shock is likely soon so that will add to the cost of running our cars and also increase the price (freight) of consumer costs etc. etc.
Inflation is certain to rise which could be good news for those with large home mortgages because it it will be easier to pay off yesterday’s debts with tomorrows’ income.
I think Point #1 in post #4 is an excellent idea.

Better get that vegetable garden planted!

#9
MERC6002:07 pm, 20 Jun 14

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

It’s not just rates that are rising either. It is all contributing to less disposable income, especially hurting those on fixed incomes (and those on decreasing incomes if you believe the socialist propaganda).
I think the ACT Government has made some huge blunders as far as balancing the budget is concerned and they will soon be campaigning louder for an increase in the GST which will punish us even more.
There are signs that the real estate bubble has popped so we will see our wealth decrease concurrently with big increases in cost of living. An oil price rise shock is likely soon so that will add to the cost of running our cars and also increase the price (freight) of consumer costs etc. etc.
Inflation is certain to rise which could be good news for those with large home mortgages because it it will be easier to pay off yesterday’s debts with tomorrows’ income.
I think Point #1 in post #4 is an excellent idea.

Better get that vegetable garden planted!

and the home brew.

#10
Mysteryman2:12 pm, 20 Jun 14

The new rates setup is designed not to save first home buyers money, as the government keeps insisting, but to bleed money from all existing and future home owners to help in propping up the budget. Rate WILL triple across the projected timeframe given by the Liberals. I raised this with Andrew Barr and it seemed very clear from the conversation that if you didn’t think the new rates regime is a good idea, then in his opinion you must be an idiot.

Quite honestly I think it’s a terrible idea born from poor fiscal management. Everyone is going to be stung by this in the long term. Next time I hear a Labor voter complaining about the rates rise, I’ll be sure to let them know that it’s their own fault.

#11
Maya1233:13 pm, 20 Jun 14

I think a better plan would have been to apply the high rates to all new houses and when old houses change hands. If most Canberra houses change hands every few years, soon most houses would be under the new system; no stamp duty but higher rates. The older house owners paid stamp duty, so have made their contribution.

#12
JC5:03 pm, 20 Jun 14

Maya123 said :

The older house owners paid stamp duty, so have made their contribution.

They may have made A contribution, but it is not sufficient to keep the city running. The only solution is do something with rates or a GST increase or maybe both.

Whilst I disagree with the approach the Federal government has taken in the last budget, the basics of Hockey’s rhetoric is right in that we do ALL need to contribute more into the future. Though in their case they are using this augment as a way to redistribute funds towards the big end of town. But I digress.

Locally it is no different we all have to pay and pay more into the future. Stamp duty isn’t the way.

#13
chewy145:30 pm, 20 Jun 14

Maya123 said :

I think a better plan would have been to apply the high rates to all new houses and when old houses change hands. If most Canberra houses change hands every few years, soon most houses would be under the new system; no stamp duty but higher rates. The older house owners paid stamp duty, so have made their contribution.

Which would encourage people under the old system to hold onto their properties for as long as possible.

ie. The exact opposite of what the goal of the policy is.

#14
davo1015:32 pm, 20 Jun 14

miz said :

Why can’t they just scrap it in one go?

Well they could have. Not sure how doubling rates in one go would have gone down with the electorate, but at least it would spare us 19 years of carping on about it while they transition it in.

Maya123 said :

I think a better plan would have been to apply the high rates to all new houses and when old houses change hands.

Would require the Territory to borrow the money needed to make up for the lost stamp duty that would not yet be covered by the new rates. More expensive in the long run as you have to pay back the interest.

#15
HiddenDragon6:30 pm, 20 Jun 14

Mark Parton said :

I get so many calls to my radio program saying exactly this. I think the Government is now more aware of the problems connected to this policy but they must remain committed to it for obvious reasons. More than a lot of cities in Australia, Canberra has always been a great place to live, if you make lots of money.

I think your final sentence sums it up very nicely, Mark. For all the talk, and selective statistics to the contrary, Canberra remains a company town, heavily dependent upon federal government spending and with living costs – including ACT government rates and charges – predicated upon household incomes well above the national average. But with federal government spending now less lavish than in the past, at the same time as the rates and other ACT Government tax increases are starting to bite, more people will be really noticing the squeeze on their living costs – so all those calls are hardly surprising.

If it weren’t for the fact that the shift from stamp duty to rates is being approached with what seems almost like blind faith, a more pragmatic approach might be for the ACT Government to say, OK, we will go to a certain point, and not beyond, unless the other States* and Terrritory (but most particularly NSW, for obvious reasons) follow suit. In fact, if you look at the revenue projections in the recent ACT Budget papers, it looks like rates are being pushed up more quickly than stamp duties are being wound down – particularly for properties of middling values and above.

*I believe WA has started something similar, but I doubt, in practice whether we are too often in direct competition with WA for investment and productive residents, so that’s probably of limited relevance – for other than rhetorical purposes.

#16
aussieboy11:54 am, 21 Jun 14

Abolishing stamp duty is very good policy.

You should not be rewarded for staying in the same house for 20 years – if anything you should be punished. There are far too many retired couples living in 4-5 bedroom houses in Canberra’s inner suburbs. Meanwhile, young families are pushed into the abysses of Tuggeranong and Gunghalin where facilities/services are lacking.

If retirees can’t afford the new rates, they should move into a smaller place.

In the long term, this won’t be an issue – basic economics suggests that house prices will fall to compensate for the PV of increased rates – people will just need to factor rate costs into their affordability calculations.

#17
Maya1238:59 pm, 21 Jun 14

aussieboy said :

Abolishing stamp duty is very good policy.

You should not be rewarded for staying in the same house for 20 years – if anything you should be punished. There are far too many retired couples living in 4-5 bedroom houses in Canberra’s inner suburbs. Meanwhile, young families are pushed into the abysses of Tuggeranong and Gunghalin where facilities/services are lacking.

If retirees can’t afford the new rates, they should move into a smaller place.

In the long term, this won’t be an issue – basic economics suggests that house prices will fall to compensate for the PV of increased rates – people will just need to factor rate costs into their affordability calculations.

I live in an inner suburb. So you would punish me for wanting to be within cycling distance of facilities and for wanting to grow my own food – fruit trees and vegetable gardens. Yes, I could move out of my house and into a unit. No room to grow anything, but what does that matter; I’m expendable. That’s how I read your post. But then being cynical, my house is only three bedrooms, one living area and doesn’t have a separate entertainment area or theatrette. What first home buyer would be interested in that? And first home buyers are usually younger; they can cycle further.
I retired (forced redundancy) and after saving for over twenty years finally managed to upgrade my house and get a bigger one (but still smaller than most built today). No, I am not moving after only just moving in, just to please your prejudices.

#18
Maya1239:03 pm, 21 Jun 14

Maya123 said :

aussieboy said :

Abolishing stamp duty is very good policy.

You should not be rewarded for staying in the same house for 20 years – if anything you should be punished. There are far too many retired couples living in 4-5 bedroom houses in Canberra’s inner suburbs. Meanwhile, young families are pushed into the abysses of Tuggeranong and Gunghalin where facilities/services are lacking.

If retirees can’t afford the new rates, they should move into a smaller place.

In the long term, this won’t be an issue – basic economics suggests that house prices will fall to compensate for the PV of increased rates – people will just need to factor rate costs into their affordability calculations.

I live in an inner suburb. So you would punish me for wanting to be within cycling distance of facilities and for wanting to grow my own food – fruit trees and vegetable gardens. Yes, I could move out of my house and into a unit. No room to grow anything, but what does that matter; I’m expendable. That’s how I read your post. But then being cynical, my house is only three bedrooms, one living area and doesn’t have a separate entertainment area or theatrette. What first home buyer would be interested in that? And first home buyers are usually younger; they can cycle further.
I retired (forced redundancy) and after saving for over twenty years finally managed to upgrade my house and get a bigger one (but still smaller than most built today). No, I am not moving after only just moving in, just to please your prejudices.

Added: Rates, by the way, are not calculated on the size of the house, but where it is. A large six bedroom house in an outer suburb will have lower rates than a small two bedroom house in an inner suburb.

#19
rommeldog569:18 pm, 21 Jun 14

aussieboy said :

Abolishing stamp duty is very good policy.

You should not be rewarded for staying in the same house for 20 years – if anything you should be punished. There are far too many retired couples living in 4-5 bedroom houses in Canberra’s inner suburbs. Meanwhile, young families are pushed into the abysses of Tuggeranong and Gunghalin where facilities/services are lacking.

If retirees can’t afford the new rates, they should move into a smaller place.

In the long term, this won’t be an issue – basic economics suggests that house prices will fall to compensate for the PV of increased rates – people will just need to factor rate costs into their affordability calculations.

People did factor Annual Rates increases into their affordability – and Stamp duty – and purchased a house that they could afford given both those things.

They also raised families in those houses – and had blocks that their kids could run around in safely.

To say, decades later, that they should not have done that IN CASE some idiot, economically and fiscally incompetent ACT Government decided to potentially triple those Annual Rates, is simply absurdly ludicrous. No one would have seen that coming all those years ago.

For those people who have already paid their full share of Stamp Duty when they purchased a house, what the ACT Gov’t has now done is akin to “legalised” theft.

Retirees, after a lifetime of contribution to the economy and working to own a house, should not be “forced” to move into a shoebox somewhere (that will also be subject to proportionally increased Rates too btw). Particularly self funded retirees who are not a drain on the economy. These people should be looked after – not penalised financially by this idiot ACT Gov’t.

There must surely be better ways of encouraging the “target” people out of their larger homes and into smaller ones. The ACT Gov’t way of up to tripling Annual Rates is far, far too blunt.

#20
Sandman9:33 pm, 21 Jun 14

The money to run this city needs to come from somewhere. We’ve got people making demands about everything from dead trees to tyre slasher capture to billion dollar choo choo trains. It’s so much easier to spend money when it’s not yours.

#21
dungfungus7:36 am, 22 Jun 14

rommeldog56 said :

aussieboy said :

Abolishing stamp duty is very good policy.

You should not be rewarded for staying in the same house for 20 years – if anything you should be punished. There are far too many retired couples living in 4-5 bedroom houses in Canberra’s inner suburbs. Meanwhile, young families are pushed into the abysses of Tuggeranong and Gunghalin where facilities/services are lacking.

If retirees can’t afford the new rates, they should move into a smaller place.

In the long term, this won’t be an issue – basic economics suggests that house prices will fall to compensate for the PV of increased rates – people will just need to factor rate costs into their affordability calculations.

People did factor Annual Rates increases into their affordability – and Stamp duty – and purchased a house that they could afford given both those things.

They also raised families in those houses – and had blocks that their kids could run around in safely.

To say, decades later, that they should not have done that IN CASE some idiot, economically and fiscally incompetent ACT Government decided to potentially triple those Annual Rates, is simply absurdly ludicrous.

No one would have seen that coming all those years ago.

For those people who have already paid their full share of Stamp Duty when they purchased a house, what the ACT Gov’t has now done is akin to “legalised” theft.

Retirees, after a lifetime of contribution to the economy and working to own a house, should not be “forced” to move into a shoebox somewhere (that will also be subject to proportionally increased Rates too btw). Particularly self funded retirees who are not a drain on the economy. These people should be looked after – not penalised financially by this idiot ACT Gov’t.

There must surely be better ways of encouraging the “target” people out of their larger homes and into smaller ones. The ACT Gov’t way of up to tripling Annual Rates is far, far too blunt.

I agree 100%.
We have to realize that the person who is causing all this future grief for us in not a family man so he is not considering the hopes, aspirations and needs of people who want to have a family as most of have. He is also totally clueless about the what able bodied retired people need.
He probably lives in a home unit, hmmmm, that could explain a few things.
Yet so many people claim to hate Tony Abbott who is about as family orientated as you can get.
There is a big article in the Canberra Times today about the big movers and shakers in Canberra. It’s long on their power and influence but short on their family values.
The times are changing.

#22
Maya1238:27 am, 22 Jun 14

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

aussieboy said :

Abolishing stamp duty is very good policy.

You should not be rewarded for staying in the same house for 20 years – if anything you should be punished. There are far too many retired couples living in 4-5 bedroom houses in Canberra’s inner suburbs. Meanwhile, young families are pushed into the abysses of Tuggeranong and Gunghalin where facilities/services are lacking.

If retirees can’t afford the new rates, they should move into a smaller place.

In the long term, this won’t be an issue – basic economics suggests that house prices will fall to compensate for the PV of increased rates – people will just need to factor rate costs into their affordability calculations.

People did factor Annual Rates increases into their affordability – and Stamp duty – and purchased a house that they could afford given both those things.

They also raised families in those houses – and had blocks that their kids could run around in safely.

To say, decades later, that they should not have done that IN CASE some idiot, economically and fiscally incompetent ACT Government decided to potentially triple those Annual Rates, is simply absurdly ludicrous.

No one would have seen that coming all those years ago.

For those people who have already paid their full share of Stamp Duty when they purchased a house, what the ACT Gov’t has now done is akin to “legalised” theft.

Retirees, after a lifetime of contribution to the economy and working to own a house, should not be “forced” to move into a shoebox somewhere (that will also be subject to proportionally increased Rates too btw). Particularly self funded retirees who are not a drain on the economy. These people should be looked after – not penalised financially by this idiot ACT Gov’t.

There must surely be better ways of encouraging the “target” people out of their larger homes and into smaller ones. The ACT Gov’t way of up to tripling Annual Rates is far, far too blunt.

I agree 100%.
We have to realize that the person who is causing all this future grief for us in not a family man so he is not considering the hopes, aspirations and needs of people who want to have a family as most of have. He is also totally clueless about the what able bodied retired people need.
He probably lives in a home unit, hmmmm, that could explain a few things.
Yet so many people claim to hate Tony Abbott who is about as family orientated as you can get.
There is a big article in the Canberra Times today about the big movers and shakers in Canberra. It’s long on their power and influence but short on their family values.
The times are changing.

What has being a “family man” got to do with this? Whether people have a family or not they need a place to live, and many live in houses. People with families can be so arrogant and excluding. Couples and singles too have a right to want a garden, and some make better use of it than families; growing vegetables for instance.
I’ve noticed that families living in ‘large’ houses generally is a modern thing. In the past three bedrooms did for many; even two, and growing up this was what my friends and I had; even the neighbours with seven kids only had three bedrooms. I bought my first three bedroom (99 sq metres) house from a family of five. Children shared rooms, but today that appears unthinkable. Why, according to some parents I’ve spoken to, children these days can’t even be expected to sleep in a single bed; these days they demand a double bed. So if you think the houses of the present retirees are large, just wait to see the size of the houses of the next generation; the ones demanding now that retirees should get out.
If one wants to encourage retirees to downsize, perhaps a better rating system would be one that took size of house into account, no matter what suburb that was in, because how will making rates so expensive for a retiree living in a small inner city house help a family who wants a large house for a family? Even if they can afford to buy the house, can they then afford to knock down the two or three bedroom house and build the bigger house many are demanding these days? Most likely couldn’t.

#23
aussieboy10:01 am, 22 Jun 14

Maya123 said :

I live in an inner suburb. So you would punish me for wanting to be within cycling distance of facilities and for wanting to grow my own food – fruit trees and vegetable gardens. Yes, I could move out of my house and into a unit. No room to grow anything, but what does that matter; I’m expendable. That’s how I read your post. But then being cynical, my house is only three bedrooms, one living area and doesn’t have a separate entertainment area or theatrette. What first home buyer would be interested in that? And first home buyers are usually younger; they can cycle further.
I retired (forced redundancy) and after saving for over twenty years finally managed to upgrade my house and get a bigger one (but still smaller than most built today). No, I am not moving after only just moving in, just to please your prejudices.

Every single person living in a 3 br house rather than a unit or terrace is another greenfield development site required for which the Government must build roads, sewers, electricity etc. Most first home buyers I know would much rather a 3br cottage in O’Connor than a 4br McMansion in woop woop.

There are real and signficant financial costs to society when bedrooms go spare in the inner city. Someone has to pay. While my comment might have made people seem ‘expendable’, yours makes them sound incredibly entitled.

If someone chooses to burden society with these costs by living in a house that’s way too big for them, that’s fine – but they should be forced to pay for that privilege.

#24
miz10:11 am, 22 Jun 14

This whole policy trying to ‘encourage’ older people to ‘downsize’ is very rude and misinformed. Does the Treasurer (or whoever designed this daft, social engineering policy) really think that suddenly, on reaching a certain age, older people don’t need space for family members to stay, and don’t have hobbies that need space?
It is also clearly inconsistent with all the policies and services aimed at keeping people in their homes longer before having to enter aged care facilities (which are a great expense on the public purse).
A few may benefit from this policy, but they probably would have moved anyway without it. I think we can safely say it’s a Claytons budget sweetener.

#25
dungfungus10:39 am, 22 Jun 14

aussieboy said :

Maya123 said :

I live in an inner suburb. So you would punish me for wanting to be within cycling distance of facilities and for wanting to grow my own food – fruit trees and vegetable gardens. Yes, I could move out of my house and into a unit. No room to grow anything, but what does that matter; I’m expendable. That’s how I read your post. But then being cynical, my house is only three bedrooms, one living area and doesn’t have a separate entertainment area or theatrette. What first home buyer would be interested in that? And first home buyers are usually younger; they can cycle further.
I retired (forced redundancy) and after saving for over twenty years finally managed to upgrade my house and get a bigger one (but still smaller than most built today). No, I am not moving after only just moving in, just to please your prejudices.

Every single person living in a 3 br house rather than a unit or terrace is another greenfield development site required for which the Government must build roads, sewers, electricity etc. Most first home buyers I know would much rather a 3br cottage in O’Connor than a 4br McMansion in woop woop.

There are real and signficant financial costs to society when bedrooms go spare in the inner city. Someone has to pay. While my comment might have made people seem ‘expendable’, yours makes them sound incredibly entitled.

If someone chooses to burden society with these costs by living in a house that’s way too big for them, that’s fine – but they should be forced to pay for that privilege.

Greenfield development costs = headworks. These are paid for by the developer (LDA) which is an ACT Government Agecy. Across the border they are paid by the private developer. The cost is capitalised into the finished product. The LDA in Canberra gests en-globo land for zilch and yet they make a miserable profit. This agency should be abolished and private enterpise (competition) should take over.
People with large houses not only pay for the “priveledge” as you refer to but they also pay higher rates and taxes and also subdidise first home owners with smaller homes. We all started with smaller homes. It’s the first home buyers that are the burden.

#26
Maya12311:49 am, 22 Jun 14

aussieboy said :

Maya123 said :

I live in an inner suburb. So you would punish me for wanting to be within cycling distance of facilities and for wanting to grow my own food – fruit trees and vegetable gardens. Yes, I could move out of my house and into a unit. No room to grow anything, but what does that matter; I’m expendable. That’s how I read your post. But then being cynical, my house is only three bedrooms, one living area and doesn’t have a separate entertainment area or theatrette. What first home buyer would be interested in that? And first home buyers are usually younger; they can cycle further.
I retired (forced redundancy) and after saving for over twenty years finally managed to upgrade my house and get a bigger one (but still smaller than most built today). No, I am not moving after only just moving in, just to please your prejudices.

Every single person living in a 3 br house rather than a unit or terrace is another greenfield development site required for which the Government must build roads, sewers, electricity etc. Most first home buyers I know would much rather a 3br cottage in O’Connor than a 4br McMansion in woop woop.

There are real and signficant financial costs to society when bedrooms go spare in the inner city. Someone has to pay. While my comment might have made people seem ‘expendable’, yours makes them sound incredibly entitled.

If someone chooses to burden society with these costs by living in a house that’s way too big for them, that’s fine – but they should be forced to pay for that privilege.

So it would be alright then if someone built a one bedroom house on a block of land, so they could still grown their vegetables and be self sufficient and not need a car! No spare bedrooms then. And should families be allowed spare bedrooms too? How about demanding that children should share a bedroom. It worked in the past.
It could be pointed out that the population growth is what is causing these problems. Without that there would be no need for green field developments. We can’t keep expanding forever. It has to stop sometime and it’s better to stop now than cause an even bigger problem to future generations. This is not the fault of local government though. They are responding to policies enacted by the Federal government with its large immigration rate and the baby bonus.
If someone can’t afford to live in an inner suburb because what they expect/demand in a house is not available for their price range, and they are not willing to lower their expectations, then they might have to move to an outer suburb, but this doesn’t have to be forever. They can live frugally (as I did) by growing a large percentage of your food (might need to build a smaller house though – the size people thought was normal fifty years ago, rather than a McMansion – to have enough land to grow the food), forgoing overseas holidays, wearing cheap clothes until they wear out, riding a bicycle where you can (and even in outer suburbs you don’t have to drive everywhere), catch public transport, keep the same car for over twenty years, rent out spare rooms, then in twenty to thirty years you might be able to afford a nice three bedroom house in an inner suburb as I did. Some first home buyers have too much of a sense of entitlement and want it now. It’s likely your parents didn’t get it to start with. My first home with my parents was a flat over shops. Later we moved to a small house. It doesn’t have to be forever. But what you are implying is that after all this self sacrificing we should be willing to live in a one bedroom unit. Sorry, but singles and doubles have as much right as families to have a study and a spare room. We are not subhuman and we are not burdening society. The ones who are burdening society are those people who have more than a replacement number of children. The cost of infrastructure is huge for an expanding population. The normal taxes that extra people pay does not cover this increased infrastructure (hospitals etc).
Older people have likely lived in an area for many years, their friends are there, they know the area, the garden they planted and waited for to mature, has rewarded them and now you say they must give all this up and be discarded in some little unit, and likely all this bulldozed so someone else can build a McMansion (older houses are too small for the younger generation). That’s a waste of resources! The house they now live in might have been the outer suburbs when they moved there, or in my case an inner suburb that few people wanted to live in, and in fact other people warned me about and did their best to dissuade me from buying there. Hence the first house I bought, in an inner suburb, was the cheapest on the market at the time in all Canberra.
Suburbs do regenerate in time without moving out the present occupants into units before they are ready. People move into an area, they get older, their children grow up, move on, the people eventually (by their own free will) move to a retirement unit or die. Then younger people have the chance to move in and the cycle starts again.

#27
Maya12312:27 pm, 22 Jun 14

dungfungus said :

People with large houses not only pay for the “priveledge” as you refer to but they also pay higher rates and taxes and also subdidise first home owners with smaller homes. We all started with smaller homes. It’s the first home buyers that are the burden.

It’s not the size of the house that increases rates, but where the block of land is. Two blocks side by side might pay the same rates, but one might have a small two bedroom house on it, while the other a large, two storey, many bedroom house on it. Same rates for each, as it is the land that the rates is calculated from.

#28
old canberran3:57 pm, 22 Jun 14

aussieboy said :

If retirees can’t afford the new rates, they should move into a smaller place.

I suppose you are thinking of something small and comfortable like a coffin.

What a ridiculous and heartless suggestion.

My parents lived in a house in Braddon for over 50 years and we lived in Watson for 25 years and left in 1988 when self government arrived. Back then I could see that Canberra was going to become a very expensive place to live without the development controls that the NCDC had in place. Someone has to pay for the unbridled development that has taken place over the past 25 years and unfortunately it is the people who live there.

#29
gazket6:53 pm, 22 Jun 14

BreeGirl said :

The Chief Minister still says that the Liberals were lying when about rates tripling. Difficult to know who to believe on this, but it looks to me as though rates will triple well before 2022

Katy Gallagher pretty much admitted the rates would triple a few weeks ago on 2CC . Parton said the rates are going to triple aren’t they and Gallagher said said “well not straight away”

The Government only gets bigger it never gets smaller. Government bringing in more money creates more Government bureaucracy so Government spend more money to pay for it , so Governments rise rates and taxes again.

While we get the calluses Government bums get shinier and their hands get softer.

#30
rommeldog5611:18 pm, 22 Jun 14

BreeGirl said :

The Chief Minister still says that the Liberals were lying when about rates tripling. Difficult to know who to believe on this, but it looks to me as though rates will triple well before 2022

“Difficult to know” ? Not really. Here is my calculation for my Annual Rates over the next few years. It is predicated on 9.5% (which in my case, is the actual increase – others may be more – but the ACT Gov’t claim avg.10% pa) :

2013-14 $1,765
2014-15 $1,965
2015-16 $2,151
2016-17 $2,355
2017-18 $2,578
2018-19 $2,822

So, if u keep on calculating, at least in my case, the Lib’s claims of tripling in 11 years or so are pretty accurate. So, there it is in black and white – just for the ACT Government !

True. Annual Rates would have tripled anyway – but over a much, much, much longer timeframe – not in 11 years or so. I hope u are doing your Annual Rates forward projections in the ACT – something the ACT Government might call “vision”.

So, next time I hear the spin from the ACT Government that “Annual Rates Will Not Triple” – remind me to grab the nearest bucket ’cause I’m certain that I will chuck up !

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