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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Tax exemptions for landlords who provide cheaper rentals

The ACT Government has indefinitely extended land tax exemptions for landlords who rent their properties at less than 75% market rates, to help address rental affordability across Canberra.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr encouraged landlords to sign up to the scheme to increase the number of affordable rentals in the Territory while they reduced their rental property liabilities.

Rental property owners in the ACT can reduce their land tax completely if they rent their property to Canberrans on low to moderate incomes through a registered community housing provider.

Legislation passed in the Legislative Assembly this week removed the expiry date for the scheme, which was increased from 125 to 250 properties. Mr Barr said 54 landlords are involved in the scheme, which meant 54 more families could afford a safe, secure home.

“Every Canberran, no matter their circumstances, should have access to safe and affordable housing that suits their needs,” he said.

The Government had extended the scheme indefinitely because more landlords wanted to make ACT rentals more affordable, said Rebecca Vassarotti, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services.

“It’s not just a tax incentive, it’s a contribution that landlords can be proud of,” Ms Vassarotti said.

She acknowledged that Canberra was expensive to rent and lacked affordable housing options, particularly for people on low incomes.

“We hope that changes such as this will help to transform the view of housing, as a right and a community good rather than as a vehicle for wealth generation.

In the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement for the Tenth Assembly, ACT Labor and the ACT Greens had committed to provide more housing options to achieve a home for all.

Ms Vassarotti said the Federal Government needed to invest more in social housing. “It is a missed opportunity in this week’s Budget to stimulate the economy and address the housing crisis nationally.”

She was pleased the Commonwealth continued the Equal Remuneration Order for Specialist Homelessness Services. “While the ACT Government was never going to leave services short, this commitment means certainty for vital services.”

More information about land tax exemptions is available on the ACT Revenue Office website.

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