ACT home owners will be relieved to learn that residential rates will rise by 4.5 per cent rather than 8.75 per cent as flagged in the last Budget, however unit owners are set to contend with larger increases and all rate payers will face some unexpected hits to their hip pockets in the form of new and increased levies.
All property owners will pay the new annual $30 Safer Families Levy as well as increases to the Fire and Emergency Services Levy and Victims Services Levy of around $10 apiece as well as to the Ambulance Levy of between $5 (individuals) and $10 (families).
The Victims Services Levy will rise by a further $10 in 2017-18.
General rates will rise by an average of 4.5 per cent for residential properties in 2016-17, and an average of 7 per cent for commercial properties. Residential rates are expected to rise by a further 7 per cent each year for the next five years.
For units only, a change in the rates methodology will also add around $150 on average in 2017-18 and $115 on average in 2018-19. The Government will change the general rates calculation for multi-unit dwellings to base it on the total average unimproved value of the land rather than the individual average unimproved value of the unit. This is designed to lead to greater equity in general rates paid between houses and units.
Commercial rates are expected to rise on average by 6 per cent each year.
The Safer Families Levy and increases to existing levies will billed via Canberra property owners’ rates bills.