MPs approve land tax and stamp duty hikes
Fees for approving and renewing trademarks and service marks have been approved by legislators to get raised by 5 per cent across the board.
Vance Campbell, the Cabinet Office minister, led the debate in the House of Assembly on the Government Fees (Trade Marks and Service Marks) Amendment Regulations 2023.
Mr Campbell said the rates were reasonable and comparable to those charged in other jurisdictions, calling them “acceptable and not onerous”.
Opposition MP Scott Pearman called it “a little bit of a backslide” in light of the island’s impending strides in modernising its intellectual property regime.
But the new regulations were approved.
David Burt, the Premier, then opened the debate on the Land Tax Amendment Act 2023, which increased the tax for the island’s two highest bands of property.
Mr Burt said it would affect 4 per cent of the island’s properties and generate $2.4 million in additional revenue.
Cole Simons, the Leader of the Opposition, signalled no objections from across the aisle.
But Mr Simons described the additional revenue as “negligible” in light of the overall Budget.
Additionally, stamp duty rates are to go up 5 per cent under amendments brought to the House.
But first-time homeowners and those transferring mortgages have been given a break through “adjustments to some fees”, Mr Burt said.
First-timers will be exempt when purchasing any property valued under $1 million.
Mr Burt added that the Stamp Duties Amendment Act 2023 would encourage competition among banks by allowing homeowners to transfer their mortgages to another lending institution offering them a lower rate, without having to incur extra fees.
Mr Simons signalled that the Opposition “understood the intent” and found the amendments “not unreasonable”.