What else could the government tax?

cranky 5 May 2008 48

Local ACT government has always had a miniscule revenue base to finance the running of the Territory. We don’t have the industry,mining or agriculture bases of the states, and are unable to levy payroll tax on the Federal Government.

As a result, property is taxed to the hilt, with a range of innovative taxes and levy’s dreamt up by the council to claw as much as possible from the citizens of the Territory.

Are we adequately recompensed by the Feds for the lack of payroll tax? Is our tiny taxable base recognised and additional funds on a per head basis delivered by the Federal tax carve-up?

The overwhelming reliance on property and related taxation by the Council has resulted in sky high property prices, rents, and a sordid relationship with developers resulting in the ticky-tacky boxes of Gungahlin.

Are there income streams the Council could persue to widen the take, and reduce the reliance on property?

What's Your Opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
48 Responses to What else could the government tax?
needlenose needlenose 4:52 pm 12 May 08

True – but how much fun would that have been?

Mælinar Mælinar 2:08 pm 12 May 08

The most apt and short description for the previous series of comments I have ever read is:

Raise the value of energy and tax pollution.

needlenose needlenose 12:10 pm 12 May 08

I’m not a revhead so it’s a genuine question – what sort of cars (ie makes & models) are priced over $57000 that you would *not* consider to be luxury vehicles?

Someone on 666 this morning referred to “people movers” but to my knowledge those of my friends with vehicles in that category would not have spent that sort of money on them.

VicePope VicePope 9:30 am 12 May 08

Minime2 – I think the line might be that, if you make cars over a certain price significantly more expensive, people at the margins (who might have been thinking about getting into or staying in the luxury market) will move their aspirations down and increase demand at the lower levels. The other possible effects are that the change may cause some buyers of seriously pricy cars to go down a step, increasing demand at that level and making the just-into-luxury group more expensive because of demand, and that some manufacturers/retailers will saw a few bits off the standard to keep the car below the luxury threshold and/or increase the cost of service and parts to recover downstream the forgone profit on the original sale.

Privately, I’d like to see tax penalties on anything that’s wasteful (like urban 4WDs) and imported (like most upmarket cars, fashion items and some poncy foods) and certainly if it’s both. The knock on effects might be hard to think through, though – the worst being that it would license crappy Oz industry to keep producing expensive crap.

Mælinar Mælinar 9:03 am 12 May 08

minime2 said :

But not being very ekonnomically minded; can some explain how a 33% proposed tax on luxury cars over $57K can force the price up of ALL cars?

Without getting into ANY detail at all, the price of luxury cars is linked to the price of standard vehicles. It has been mathematically and statistically proven – I’d suggest google if you want to know more.

The nett result is if luxury vehicles price increases, the price of standard vehicles raises accordingly.

minime2 minime2 2:48 am 12 May 08

Ant; only Charnie families.

But not being very ekonnomically minded; can some explain how a 33% proposed tax on luxury cars over $57K (mmmm – there is a whole bloggy post) can force the price up of ALL cars? Tax By Fed Labor and claim by Ex-Fed Liberal today.

ant ant 12:20 am 12 May 08

The most environmentally-unfriendly thing we currently have is… families. Tax them.

needlenose needlenose 9:17 pm 11 May 08

Turbodewd – I get what you are trying to do (though I think it’s pretty stupid) – but why not just increase the rego for sports cars? Under this proposal, a widow driving a Micra pays more rego than if she drives a Rolls Royce. That’s not just pointless, itr’s actively counterproductive.

Not having a family is often not a matter of choice – but having a family always is. People don’t deserve praise, or additional benefits, for making a lifestyle decision to create small copies of themselves. Nobody breeds through altruism (if they did it would be extraordinarily arrogant, to assume the world would be a better place with more of your DNA in it); they do so because they think it will enhance their lives. If I have to subsidise their lifestyle choices, then they should subsidise mine – say nifty little convertible to run about in.

turbodewd1 turbodewd1 5:38 pm 11 May 08


in my opinion any tax should be family friendly or neutral and environmentally friendly or neutral.

There are countless small cars just as fuel effic as yours which are 4-door such as the Mazda 2 or Toyota Yaris both with 1.5L engines. My proposal catches sportscars you see.
I have no problem with singles subsidising families.

My proposal only affects rego and is quite minor, so I put it to you that while you are single you shouldnt enjoy a relative discount to families.

needlenose needlenose 1:46 am 10 May 08

@ Turbodewd – isn’t that just a tax on being single? And in fact it would merely target more responsible single people who drive smaller cars?

I’m single and drive a two-door 1.6 litre car that runs on the proverbial smell of an oily rag. It does have four seats and I often give a friend a lift to work.

My next-door neighbour is also single, but drives a four door V8. A few doors further down the street is another single woman who drives a 4WD (and does not drive it off-road). The couple (“working family”) on the other side have two four-door sedans, and each drives one, separately.

I would argue that out of all these pretty typical examples, my car is the most environmentally responsible. I can also point out that I chose it in preference to a much larger car (a 4 door V8) which my employer would have paid for.

All your proposed tax would do is provide an incentive for someone like me to upgrade to a bigger car than I need. Makes no sense.

@ Minime2 – I confess that I have no rational basis for my proposal to tax windscreen washers. Apart from the nice one on Mugga Way/Hindmarsh Drive, they mainly seem pretty feral, and they scare me, and I hate them. The one on the corner of Northbourne and Baarry Drive gives me the jeebies to he extent that I turn of Northbourne a few blocks early and drive down Mort Street and back on to Northbourne, just to avoid him. I do not claim that this is rational, or does me any credit. But there it is.

minime2 minime2 1:02 am 10 May 08

Info for needlenose .. those fulltime window washers – who do put in a full day – have all been “contracted” with centrelink; so they are not completely double-dipping. But they do double-dip their squeegee thingy soo I do not let them do mine.

sepi sepi 10:31 pm 09 May 08

Yep – tax the huge 4WD.

It could be the rude driver tax.

turbodewd1 turbodewd1 9:27 pm 09 May 08


2-door vehicles are principally cars driven by one person. They include coupes, sportscars and runabouts driven by singles. By comparison a 4-door vehicle is greener as they more often carry more than 1 passenger and can carry families too. It is very
rare to find a 2-door car used principally by a family unit.

needlenose needlenose 12:46 pm 09 May 08

What’s your beef with 2-door vehicles? They’re usually smaller and greener than most cars.

What we should be taxing are bloody 4WDs, especially those belonging to people who don’t live on dirt roads or spend their leisure time off-roading.

turbodewd1 turbodewd1 10:21 am 09 May 08

I would start with a slight tweak of Stamp Duty on new cars. Any 2-door motor vehicle can pay an extra 0.5% SD on the existing rates. And any vehicle weighing 1750kg or more too.

Thumper Thumper 8:17 am 06 May 08

LOL, needlenose…

needlenose needlenose 12:05 am 06 May 08

Minime has given me another idea – a $100 000 per annum license fee for those fricken windscreen washers and their filthy squeegees. God I loathe those bastards. Except for the sane, polite one on the corner of Mugga Way and Hindmarsh Drive, who wears a sensible reflective vest and sells cheap soft drinks out of a bucket of ice in summer, and doesn’t hassle you.

And the license fee goes up 10% for every visible piercing.

minime2 minime2 11:54 pm 05 May 08

re the taxes on all those traffic offences … trouble there is that if we all STOPPED committing them, the budget would rollover and die. They really WANT us to keep trying to kill each other and ourselves or they cannot balance the bludget.

Kind of like the higher GST thing … we all pay the same as we all have to buy.

Black market economy … you mean my motor mechanics two sets of receipts books (I need a recfeipt for “service history”) but don’t have to pay the GST portion. Then that is only good for some people otherwise the business would be seen as having NO income. Ever tried paying a carpet cleaner in other than cash?

On the very serious side of this chatline: toll roads have to have had a mention at some Stanhope meeting by now….! Can just see it: “Yes, we will dual lane the GDE toll road”. That will bank Northbourne up to the border pretty quick. Can picture window washers at the Antill Street roundabout.

Gohard Gohard 10:26 pm 05 May 08

How is bartering and the black market economy going to be taxed? Should the illicit be made legal and captured by tax regime? Shouldn’t have to much of an effect on the break and enters or mental and general health services considering the legal consumption already impacting on burdened taxpayers…

ephemerac ephemerac 7:07 pm 05 May 08

Skidbladnir, Stanhope’s already introduced a poll tax in the ACT: it’s called the fire and emergency services tax and it’s imposed on all houses in Canberra. A economics guy I was talking to a few months ago [ACIL? Access?] said as far as he knew, no government anywhere in the world had introduced this kind of tax since Margaret Thatcher.

Onya Jon!!

But, yeah, the local council should do something about tax on property and work to broaden the tax base. What are they going to do when the property market goes south after federal government cut backs and continuing rate rises?

Looking forward to seeing a plan!!

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Region Group Pty Ltd

Search across the site