Shedding light on value capture

Value capture is the policy buzz word of the moment.

On the one hand its advocates point to the substantial infrastructure deficits in our major cities. Value capture is one way to begin to close this gap they say.

On the other hand, many of the value capture proposals look an awful lot like new taxes, with often tenuous links to value that may or may not be created for the asset owner.

What sounds alright in theory gets more complicated in practice. After all, what is the real benefit if you aren’t selling your property? Who calculates the tax? What are the boundaries for the new taxes? These are all questions that point to the chestnut: what is fair?

Until now the Federal Government has sponsored a public debate about value capture without any boundaries. A promised discussion paper on the subject has yet to be released.

Next week Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher will shed light on this important policy area at a Property Council breakfast in Melbourne.

The policy has important implications right across the property industry, from asset owners to developers, and everyone who is interested in the future of our cities.

It is one not to be missed.