Posted on 20. Aug, 2013 in News
The State Opposition today called on the Napthine Government to immediately hold a public inquiry and independent review of its botched fire service property tax after being inundated with complaints from Victorians who have been slugged with massive increases.
Shadow Treasurer Tim Pallas said Victorian families and businesses were being slugged and MPs were being inundated by landowners with complaints about the tax grab.
“Mr Napthine must immediately call for an independent review of his botched Fire Services Property Levy (FSPL), which, Victorians are discovering as they receive their rates notice, is not fairer or simpler,” Mr Pallas said.
“Today we call on Mr Napthine and Treasurer Michael O’Brien to not only give the Fire Services Levy (FSL) Monitor greater powers but to have him hold an open and transparent public inquiry to allow Victorians to explain how hard they have been hit by the Napthine Government FSPL.
“The FSL Monitor needs to have his powers extended to be able to investigate problems with the FSPL and to make recommendations for improvement.
“The only way to do this is to hold a public inquiry where Victorians can have their concerns aired and this would allow the FSL Monitor to provide recommendations to Government on how to improve the FSPL and make it fairer and simpler as the Government claimed it would be.
Mr Pallas said the Napthine Government’s botched FSPL was hitting people hard with reports of massive hikes in charges.
“Mr O’Brien has had the audacity to claim that ‘most people are paying less’, yet the Opposition is being inundated with complaints from people who are worse off,” he said.
“Daily we are hearing of home owners, community housing, business owners and investment property owners being slugged on each occupied unit at a commercial rate.
“When property owners receive their rates notices, they will see their investment properties listed as residential for the purposes of Council rates, but commercial for the purposes of the Napthine Government’s FSPL.
“There are people whose FSPL payments are six times what they had been paying for the FSL with some of the hardest hit being self-funded retirees and community housing organisations.
“Insurance premiums have increased by as much as 55 per cent in the past six months despite the removal of the FSL and the Napthine Government needs to explain why.”