The Napthine Government must immediately review the botched fire services tax with revelations today that some property owners have seen massive increases on their levy, Shadow Treasurer, Tim Pallas said today. 

Mr Pallas said the Fire Services Levy Monitor needs to have his powers extended to be able to investigate problems with the Fire Services Property Levy (FSPL) and to make recommendations for improvement. 

Mr Pallas said the Napthine Government’s botched FSPL was hitting people hard with callers telling a Melbourne radio station this morning of massive rises. One property owner had been hit with a 340 per cent increase on a metropolitan Melbourne residence and a 1129 per cent increase on a regional property.

“Denis Napthine and Treasurer Michael O’Brien have made lofty claims of a ‘fairer, simpler’ fire services property levy which have turned out to be false,” Mr Pallas said.

“Mr O’Brien had the audacity to claim this morning on radio that ‘most people are paying
less’, yet the Opposition is being inundated with complaints from people who
are worse off. 

“The FSPL has been botched and the blame sits squarely at the feet of Mr Napthine and Mr O’Brien. 

“Today we heard more about investment property owners being charged on each occupied unit at a commercial rate.

“When property owners receive their rates notices, they will see their investment properties listed as residential for the purposes of Council rates, but commercial for the purposes of the Napthine Government’s FSPL.

“There are people whose FSPL payments are six times what they had been paying for the
Fire Services Levy (FSL) with some of the hardest hit being self-funded
retirees and community housing organisations.

“Even Liberal and National Party MPs who voted in favour of this tax are complaining about it behind closed doors to the Treasurer.

“The Napthine Government needs to review the operation of this tax and provide new and
substantial powers to the FSL Monitor so that these problems can be fixed.

“Insurance premiums have increased by as much as 55 per cent in the past six months despite the removal of the FSL and the Napthine Government needs to explain why,” Mr Pallas said.