We all rely on the council rating system to raise enough revenue to provide goods and services to us as ratepayers. However, an efficiency dividend would be a much better system, minimising problems at the source and encouraging good behaviour.

Currently perverse incentives abound, with anyone renovating their home penalised with higher rates, whilst landowners leaving a property unused, letting it go to waste, receive a rating discount over time. Why is ‘location, location, location ‘ a crucial real estate strategy but virtually ignored in economics and our current ratings system?

We advocate that those who receive benefits from publicly funded activities should contribute according to the value these new services deliver to them. The value of these services is reflected in their land value. It is a system where the ‘beneficiary pays’ rather than ‘user pays’. Dr Ken Henry’s Australia’s Future Tax System Review advocated the need for such thinking (details below).

We provide these resources to assist with the ‘public interest’:


Dr Gavin Putland – 3 short letters on rating: