Rates revenue has doubled in four years, from $209 million in 2011-12, the year before the 20-year tax reform began, to $423 million in 2015-16.
The figures for residential rates are broadly in line with predictions in a Treasury analysis of tax reform, which analysed the impact over 20 years. In 2012, Treasury estimated residential general rates (not counting the domestic violence levy, the fire levy and others) at $273.5 million for 2015-16. The actual result was $275 million. Treasury estimated $301 million for 2016-17; the budget forecasts $289 million.
Under tax reform, insurance taxes have been scrapped and stamp duty on house sales is being phased out over 20 years, the revenue replaced by higher rates. The government says the shift is "broadly revenue neutral in aggregate".
The numbers don't include big increases in levies, including the fire and emergency services levy, the new domestic violence levy and others. They also don't include land tax, which is now on a fast upward trajectory.
The stamp duty figures are tracking quite closely with what was predicted in 2012. Treasury had expected to be collecting about $237 million in stamp duty by 2015-16. In fact, it collected $268 million. These figures appear to combine residential and commercial stamp duty, although it is not immediately clear from the Treasury document.
The 2012 Treasury modelling of the impact of tax reform stresses the figures are estimates only. It makes a series of assumptions for population growth (about 1.5 per cent a year), inflation, house prices (just under 5 per cent a year), and house sales. House prices, for one, have outpaced these estimates.
A spokesman for Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the stage two tax reforms increased general rates revenue over the coming five years by the estimated amount required to replace reducing conveyance rates over that time. Tax reform would continue to be monitored and updated in each budget. Rates increases have slowed to about 7 per cent a year.
The Treasury analysis from 2012 is based on residential rates increases of 8 per cent a year from 2017-18. With insurance taxes now abolished, the Treasury figures show the overall revenue from general rates (not including the extra levies) and stamp duty settling down over the next few years to an annual increase of just over 4 per cent.
Last year, the government produced tables showing that without tax reform a homeowner paying the average rates bill of $1276 in 2011-12 would have paid $251 more this year, including insurance tax. With tax reform, that householder is paying $403 more ($624 more in rates but $221 less in insurance tax), according to the government figures. Those figures don't include other levies, and don't factor in cuts to stamp duty for house buyers.
The government is also set to significantly boost rates revenue from units, a move that was not envisaged in its tax reform package, by changing the way rates is calculated for units. And it is increasing land tax, which is paid when houses or units are rented out. It abolished land tax for commercial properties in 2012, resulting in a fall on revenue for land tax from $115 million to $71 million. But since then, land tax revenue has increased, and this year it is due to bring in $110 million. In 2017-18, land tax is forecast to raise $131 million.
Correction: An earlier version of this story used an incorrect comparison to suggest rates increases have well outstripped expectations. The Treasury figures model residential rates only and the government says the amount being collected is broadly in line with those early expectations.