The Independent Pricing & Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is currently reviewing the local government rating system in NSW.
It is expected to report to the Government in December 2016.
ACL made a submission to the review in June 2016 arguing that the current exemptions that apply to land used for religious purposes should remain in place.
There are many good reasons for continuing the exemptions, such as:
- religious bodies, provide a substantial social good to the community.
- churches are charitable entities, therefore any financial benefit accruing to them are to be used in furtherance of the charitable purpose and not for personal gain.
- the social landscape which precipitated the current rating system arrangements has not significantly changed.
IPART has listened to the concerns of the community and has released a draft report recommending that some explicit exemptions should be retained, among these is section 555(e) Land used by a religious body occupied for that purpose.
This decision is a good outcome at this point but the report is yet to be made final.
ACL responded to the draft report in October welcoming the retention of this exemption.