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ACT 2019-2020 Budget

The 2019-20 ACT Budget which was released in early June has shown positive signs for a growing Canberra and supports a diverse economy while continuing to invest in health, education and community infrastructure.

There are a number of welcomed measures from the budget which will drive further business and investment, the Government has also listened to industry concerns on commercial rates and the Lease Variation Charge (further information in the story below).

Key economic data from the budget includes:

  • Private sector driving growth: ACT average 2.9 % (national 2.45 %)

  • Growth of 12% over last 3 years

  • Population Growth: Increased by 8,019 Canberrans or 1.9%

  • Unemployment: 3.6%

  • Headline Net Operating Balance: Deficit of $89.1 million (expected surplus of $413.3 million in 2022/23)

  • Wealthiest community in Australia – median wage $2,445 (national $1,734)

  • 1200 new businesses per year

  • 65.4% Canberrans own or have mortgage on home

  • Housing finance (owner-occupier) down 11.3% (to March 2019); Individual investors down 28.9%

  • Taxation Revenue $2.1 Billion: General rates $599 million (29%) General duties $298 million (15%) Payroll $583 million (28pc), Land tax, vehicle rego and other $571 million. (28%). 

  • Stamp duty to be abolished for first home buyers who earn less than $160,000.

  • Welcome commitment to provide certainty on LVC and commercial rates ‘bill shock’ smoothing

  • Six more font line staff for faster processing of Development Applications to be funded by increase in DA fees.

The property industry is a driver of Canberra’s economic strength and diversity, employing one in seven Canberrans and contributing almost 58% of the ACT’s own revenue from taxes and charges.