GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE METROPOLITAN PLANNING LEVY (MPL)
What is the MPL?
From 1 July 2015 a new levy under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Act) must be paid to the State Revenue Office (SRO) in respect of all planning permit applications for developments in metropolitan Melbourne (as defined in section 3 of the Act, which includes amongst other municipalities Kingston City Council) that have an estimated development cost of over $1 million (adjusted annually by CPI). The levy is calculated at $1.30 for every $1,000 of the estimated cost of the development.
This payment is in addition to the statutory planning application fees.
What is its (MPL) purpose?
The MPL was announced in the 2014-15 State Budget and is intended to fund the ongoing development of planning policy and strategy for the Melbourne metropolitan area, including the operations of the Metropolitan Planning Authority and the implementation of Plan Melbourne.
It is understood that the levy is not intended to penalise home owners or small developments but rather to apply to more significant development applications.
The MPL is a tax on the planning permit application process. The taxation nature of the 'levy' is revealed by recognising that it was introduced by legislation entitled 'Building a Better Victoria (State Tax and Other Legislation Amendment) Act 2014'.
When is the MPL payable?
One must apply for the MPL Certificate and then pay the MPL to the SRO prior to lodging a leviable planning permit application with the responsible authority (e.g. Kingston City Council).
Leviable applications are:
applications for a planning permit for development of land;
within Metropolitan Melbourne (as defined in section 3 of the Act); and
have an estimated cost of more than $1 million (adjusted for inflation from 1 July 2016).
Upon lodging an application for a MPL Certificate and paying the whole MPL amount, the SRO will issue a MPL Certificate.
Note: The levy Certificate is valid for ninety (90) days.
What is the process?
A planning permit application must not be lodged with the Responsible Authority without an accompanying MPL certificate indicating that the MPL has been paid.
The prospective applicant must first notify the SRO that it intends to make an application and state the estimated cost of the development.
The prospective applicant must pay the MPL to the SRO. This can be done online by completing and lodging the ‘smart form’ application directly with the SRO. Payment can be made by an electronic funds transfer (EFT). Note: it is understood that there is no applicable application fee required by the SRO to obtain a MPR Certificate;
The Commissioner may request information in relation to the permit from the Responsible Authority to verify the estimated cost of the development.
As soon as the Levy is paid, the Commissioner will issue a certificate as evidence of payment (within 5 working days thereabouts), which must be provided to the Responsible Authority with the permit application.
What happens if the estimated cost of the development increases after one receives an MPL certificate?
If a change in the estimated cost of development occurs prior to lodging a leviable planning permit application with council and provided the MPL certificate has not expired, one is required to lodge a revised Application for a MPL Certificate with the SRO and pay the additional levy on the incremental development cost. The SRO will then issue a Revised MPL Certificate.
Who administers the MPL?
The Commissioner of State Revenue has the general responsibilities for the MPL administration.
Record keeping requirements
The Minister for Planning, municipal councils and any other planning authority or responsible authority must keep records of any MPL Certificate that is received with a planning permit application for not less than five (5) years.
Key information for permit applicants
The estimated cost of the development provided to the SRO to calculate the payable Levy MUST ‘marry-up’ with the estimated cost of development stipulated on any planning permit application form. Should this amount vary, the planning permit application WILL NOT be accepted and/or registered by Kingston City Council.
Should there by a discrepancy between the cost on the MPL Certificate and that shown on the application form, the permit applicant MUST apply to the SRO for a revised Certificate.
A current/valid copy of the MPL Certificate must accompany the planning permit application. If the Certificate is older than 90 days, the permit applicant will need to apply for a new Certificate.
Should you require any further details regarding the imposed MPL, please refer to the list of contact details provided below:
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