No land tax

Richard Davoren writes: Re. “ScoMo’s need-to-knows: an economic cheat sheet for a former tourism functionary” (yesterday). Jason Murphy is pushing for a Commonwealth land tax. He has the view that such a tax is “pro-growth and progressive”. It is not. Tasmania, for example, has by far the highest rate of land tax of any State in Australia and it starts at land valued at only $25,000. Land tax cripples investment in this state. It applies to all land, unimproved or otherwise, with few exceptions.

The fact remains, that this tax slugs small business. In the case of commercial properties, small businessmen, who own their shops, warehouses, car yards or whatever, pay this exorbitant tax which averages between $5000-$10,000 pa, for an average small business. Those who rent, will find that a clause in their lease, includes paying outgoings, including land tax. Either way, they pay land tax. Being able to claim an income tax deduction for these payments is no different to any other deduction but does not negate the land tax.

The Federal Government has seen, correctly, the need to provide some relief for small business. Land tax in Tasmania, particularly following the recent massive increase in “valuations”, will completely wipe out any relief small business will receive from the recent Federal initiatives. In the case of Local Government rates, the increase in the “assessed annual value” does not automatically make an increase in a charge to the landholder. “Bracket creep” is offset by councils who annually adjust the percentage charged against the AAV. Not so with land tax. The state government takes all.

See ya later, Shorten

Tim Stephens writes: Re. “Swings and roundabouts” (yesterday). I agree totally with Les Heimann when he writes thatShorten must go, and soon”. The way to do this is simple. Shorten must act in the best interests of both the Labor Party and Australia, he must step aside and allow a bloodless change of leadership. The writing is on the wall Bill, you are as popular as Abbott, and come across as boring and dull. On the night Turnbull was elected you came out and just attacked the man and not the policies of the Liberals. You are treating us voters as dummies. Abbott did that and look where he is! Thinking people vote for policies and we are sick of the endless personal attacks. Tell us your Labor polices and how they will be better for Australia. Demonstrate in clear and concise terms how your polices will create a better country, economy and environment. If you can’t do this then get out of the way for someone that can … otherwise Malcolm  will be cruising to the next election.

Peter Fray

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