Sunday, January 19, 2003

NSW Land tax raises $1.01b in 2002 from 120,000 assessments.
"The Government is on the defensive over suggestions that official property valuations have been inflated to boost revenue."

The Sydney Morning Herald continues its campaign against land tax by giving prominence to someone described as "an eastern suburbs lawyer who's operating in a commercial environment. He's not just doing this for the good of humanity", (Minister's spokesman)and " the advocate for your clients' and your own private interests. You are entitled to engage in the political process by lobbying for the changes you desire but it is not my function to join you in that lobbying exercise." (NSW Ombudsman).

Nevertheless the article includes useful information on the NSW State Land Tax, eg there are 2.2m parcels of land in NSW; in 2002 it raised $1.01 billion versus $862 million in 1998. The Office of State Revenue, which collects the tax, issued more than 120,000 assessments last year. The main reform needed is to move valuation cycles of all properties in NSW to an annual basis; and to institute the practice of releasing all value figures on a standard basis, eg $ per square metre.

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