James Webster

Parkdale, VIC 3195

March 7th 2018,



I object to key changes in the Local Government Act Review that undermine the revenue sovereignty of local Councils. I consider revenue sovereignty crucial to council’s political sovereignty.

I strongly oppose the removal of Site Value Rating from the legislative framework on the grounds of efficiency, equity and common sense.

Capital Improved Value imposes higher rates when land use is improved and investment is made in construction. CIV penalises renovations, solar panels, additional dwellings. Meanwhile, land speculators can reduce their rates by knocking down old, marginal housing (the bedrock of affordable housing), and holding land vacant.

Further, progressive and thriving communities follow affordable housing; basing rates exclusively on land value encourages more efficient use of land, leading to more and better dwellings, improving housing amenity and affordability – a clear positive for the community. Local builders are penalised by CIV, and are encouraged by SVR, economic activity is stimulated with intelligent taxes.

My view is that Site Value Rating should be maintained as a rating alternative, particularly as it has been adjudged time and again as the most efficient (and progressive) tax base available. Lower rents result from an effective rating system.

The prosperity of a state reflects the wisdom of its governance; please consider the implications of the proposed changes and retain the option of Site Value Rating.

Yours sincerely,

James Webster.