Council levy cut: A step in the right direction

03 June 2009

Todays news that the levies of six NSW councils will be reduced to $20,000 a home is a step forward, but levies are still too high in some areas, according to the Urban Taskforce.

In December 2008 the NSW Government reduced state levies by up to $27,000 and promised to cap local council levies to $20,000 per home lot subject to a ministerial review.


The Urban Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said that high council levies were a key reason NSW had lost investment and population to other states.


New home levies are one reason that this state has such a massive shortfall in new home construction, Mr Gadiel said.


The losers have been young families looking to start out in life, seniors looking to downsize their home and singles after a place of their own.


Weve seen attempts by Baulkham Hills Council to slap a $50,000 levy on each new home in North Kellyville.


Pittwater Council is currently levying $75,000 on each new home in Warriewood Valley, with an increase to $90,000 planned for 2011.


Were pleased to hear that five councils have voluntarily reduced their contributions below $20,000 per home lot and we support the decision to force Lane Cove Council to comply with the new cap.


But theres no denying that local council levies are still too high in too many areas.


This cant be the end of reform.


We need to see continued pressure on local councils to rein in their charges.


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.


For every $1 million in construction expenditure, 27 jobs are created throughout the broader economy. The construction activity made possible by property developers contributes $69 billion to the national economy each year and creates 709,000 direct jobs. The construction industry is Australias third largest source of employment.

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