Fire Services Property Levy reforms will 'hurt' commercial property
The Fire Services Property Levy (FSPL) in Victoria will be detrimental for commercial property ...
The Fire Services Property Levy (FSPL) in Victoria will be detrimental for commercial property values, says the state's division of the Property Council of Australia.
On July 1, the reform will replace the current fire services levy with a system recommended by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.
With the reforms, instead of paying through insurance premiums, council rates will ensure commercial and residential property owners will contribute their share, while pensioners and veterans will receive concessions for the first time.
Property Council of Australia (Victorian Division) executive director Jennifer Cunich said that commercial real estate owners of property between 7,120sqm and 23,000sqm can expect rates increases of between 74 and 139 per cent.
"These reforms represent an unjustified tax increase on commercial and retail property and offer no identifiable improvements in local emergency services or reductions in fire risk," she said.
However Ms Cunich was also aware that "despite the painful financial impact these reforms will have upon the sector, they do contain many sensible changes", as the adjustment will bring improved accountability for insurance companies, greater funding transparency and the elimination of the tax-on-tax effects of GST and stamp duty.