It seems a simple enough premise. If people buy land with one lease purpose, at a value to suit that purpose, they get a windfall if the Government agrees to vary the lease purpose to something more lucrative.
Rather than bank the money from having an amenable government it seems manifestly self evident a part of that windfall should be returned to the Government.
But the developers want it all and the Liberals’ Brendan Smyth agrees.
“The lease variation tax is a bad tax, as it stymies redevelopment proposals, and this latest data reinforces how this tax is failing to realise the expectations the Labor Government has placed on it,” Mr Smyth said.
“The Labor Government has put a lot of emphasis on the potential for the lease variation tax to raise additional revenue and yet we have seen that this potential has not been realised.
“First, there was the dismal performance of this tax during the last financial year – when it only raised $8.7 million after the Government budgeted for revenue of more than $22 million.
“Now, during the first quarter of the new financial year, the lease variation tax has again failed to live up to expectations.
“While the Government budgeted for $5.9 million in revenue from this tax, the actual revenue was only $1.3 million.
“This is another example of Labor’s budget falling apart around them, and another example of failed Labor Party tax reform. This revenue shortfall will need to be covered somehow.
But is it just about whatever money it brings in? Or the broader principle?