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The Local Government Amendment (Rates) Act 2017 received Royal Assent on 23 June 2017.
The Act amended the Local Government Act 1993 to:
Previously there was inconsistency in the application of section 87(1)(b) of the Local Government Act in relation to reserve Crown land that was used by private or commercial lease or licence holders.
For example, currently a business that was located on non-reserve Crown land was subject to rates, whilst a business located nearby on reserve Crown land might not be subject to rates. While both businesses had access to the services provided by the relevant council, only one paid rates to support the provision of those services.
The amendments clarified the application of the exemption and provided local government with the capacity to apply rates equitably to property that meets the ‘relevant right to occupation’ criteria.
The amendments do not apply to all licences over reserve Crown land, rather to apply to agreements that confer the lease or licence holder the right to “exclusive occupation” of the land.
For further information on the Local Government Amendment (Rates) Act 2017 please contact the Local Government Division either by telephone on (03) 6232 7022 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.