As part of its efforts to support the households in Canberra, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has decided to implement a freeze on residential rates and other fees.

The ACT government will be applying a $150 rebate to the fixed charge component of all residential rate bills for the financial year 2020-2021. Furthermore, it will freeze the fire and emergency services levy at the current levels.

Under the ACT's economic recovery plan, government fees and charges will also be maintained in the upcoming financial year. These rates include:

  • Birth, death and marriage registrations fees
  • Building fees
  • Domestic animal fees
  • Emergencies fees
  • Land title fees
  • Planning and development fees
  • Public health fees
  • Security industry fees
  • Vehicle registration fees

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the decision to hold any increase in residential rates will help reduce pressure on households

"Many families and businesses are experiencing financial stress due to losing their jobs and personal or business income reductions. We know that every little bit counts, and this is one of the many ways the government can help address the cost of doing business, and the cost of living, during this pandemic," he said.

Recently, the ACT government also unveiled stamp-duty reductions for owner-occupiers.

Buyers of new land single residential blocks will have their stamp duty waived. Those who plan to buy off-the-plan apartments and townhouses with values no more than $500,000 will also not be charged stamp duty.

The stamp duty for off-the-plan apartments with price tags of more than $500,000 to $750,000 will be reduced to $11,400.

Homebuyers can apply for the waiver until June 30 next year.