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Dear God, whose side are you on?

Meander Valley Council in Tasmania will sell a family’s home at public auction in three weeks unless they pay their overdue rates. This reluctant display of the authority of government illustrates the limits and strengths of land title in Australia. The Examiner...

The fragrant vagrant is not a rose by another name

Melbourne City Council is wringing its hands again over developer land vagrancy – prime sites deliberately held vacant or with disused, dangerous buildings to assist developer lobbying of government for rezoning or advantageous building permits. The issue last hit the...

Fishing for a free ride in Macquarie Harbour

In April last year, the High Court of Australia affirmed the right of a West Tasmanian council to levy rates on the seabed within its municipal boundaries. This precedent means, in a legal sense, land is land, even underwater. It has implications for industrial...

It is still land, even underwater.

The High Court of Australia has affirmed the right of a west Tasmanian council to levy rates on the seabed. It is still land, even underwater. Council saw the land under eight marine farming leases as ‘rateable land’, Tasmania’s Valuer General declined to value them...

Reform Agenda Machinations

Published as The Planned Obsolescence of the Public Interest in Online Opinion A fascinating power play continues in the debate over vertical fiscal imbalance. The strategic intent is prevalent from federal to local politics, where the health of the public revenue...

Victoria to cap the single best tax base available

The Andrews government is capping local governments rate rises to CPI after fifteen years of six per cent rises in a low inflation environment. Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins’ Fair Go Rates System, administered by the Essential Services Commission,...

The valuation conundrum – not.

By Bryan Kavanagh and David Collyer   This week’s game-changer, the Property Taxes paper by Grattan Institute has a minor error on land valuation that needs correcting before it becomes a gift to the opponents of reform.   Grattan is acutely aware that on this topic...

Andrew’s Rate Capping Folly

Cr Stephen Mayne invited a Prosper presentation at the Future Melbourne meeting last night. This followed on from the February MCC meeting I presented to in reaction to the short sighted Victorian Government decision to cap local council rating. Cr Mayne had asked...

Unstable land needs firm foundations

Prosper usually looks at macro economics yet a micro example of what can go wrong in the property market – very, very wrong – might aid your concentration. Andrew, a Sydney ‘investor’ bought properties in Mackay and Blackwater Queensland, “when rents were crazy...

Future Melbourne hampered by rate cap

Last night I attended the Melbourne City Council’s Future Melbourne Meeting to speak on the dangers the Andrews Government rating cap has placed on council revenue raising. Cr Stephen Mayne had an interesting motion that caught my eye via twitter: Future Melbourne...