Bunbury property owners avoid Metropolitan Region Improvement Tax extension

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Bunbury MLA Don Punch
Camera IconBunbury MLA Don Punch

Bunbury MLA Don Punch has labelled a decision to stop the planned extension of the Metropolitan Region Improvement Tax into the region as a big win.

The tax applies to certain properties in the Perth metropolitan area and is levied in order to help provide land for roads, open spaces, parks and other public facilities.

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti announced the plan to implement the tax would not proceed as businesses and the community were “not well enough aware” of the decision to impose the levy.

“Given current market conditions, the implications of yet another Liberal and Nationals land tax increase would not have been favourable,” she said.

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“The plans to extend the MRIT to the Peel and Greater Bunbury regions created unnecessary angst for landowners and businesses.”

The tax would have affected more than 12,000 property owners across the two regions.

Extra revenue that was set to be raised by the tax has been removed from the State Budget ahead of it being delivered next week.

Mr Punch said he had fought hard to stop the tax from being implemented in Bunbury.

“There was no benefit for Bunbury in the Liberals and Nationals’ plan to add a tax to landowners in our community and I will always stand up for our community and our best interests,” he said.

“That is why I opposed this tax. Our community clearly rejected the proposed new tax and people were upset there was virtually no consultation.”

South West Liberal MLC Steve Thomas said he had been told that the previous Liberal-National Government had considered extending the tax but had opted against it.

“I am not sure why Labor kept it in the budget papers for the last two years, but I agree with them that it should go,” he said.

“The tax was originally a measure designed to improve planning outcomes in the region, and I believe we still desperately need better planning outcomes, but this can and should be funded by Government.”

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