Tax submissions may spark relief for farmers

28 Oct, 2005 08:45 PM
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THE Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) was one of more than 110 applicants who submitted a proposal to the State Government as part of the state tax review.

The PGA submission states the agricultural industry should be recognised for its contribution to the state¹s economic prosperity and be a focal point for the tax relief program.

Their proposal addresses concerns over land tax and states a tax incentive should be offered to land owners who are unable to clear land due to the Environmental Protection Act 2004.

Their submission states any land that is, and continues to be, covered by native vegetation should deliver some benefit to the producer to compensate for lost potential.

PGA also raises rezoning issues with the WA Planning Commission where primary producers are being forced to sacrifice the efficiency of their business to achieve a public benefit. The association states in this regard, the land should be exempt from land tax.

A PGA media spokesperson said the best long-term solution to help the agricultural industry compete with the mining industry for workers would be to abolish payroll tax. Or in the short term raise the threshold to $1 million so less agricultural businesses were liable, and to reassess the inclusion of contractors and advisors in the payroll tax assessment.

The spokesperson said PGA would like to see stamp duty in the case of farm succession reconsidered.

Two agricultural representatives ­ PGA economics and business management chairman Garry Hyde and WAFarmers president Trevor De Landgrafft ­ will sit on the board that will review the submissions.

The board will produce an interim report in the lead up to next year's state budget and a final report before the 2006-07 federal budget.

Treasurer Eric Ripper said adopting every recommendation would see all state taxes abolished, costing nearly $4b a year and severely limiting service delivery in WA.

"There is a diverse range of views on what needs to be done to improve our tax system," Mr Ripper said.

"It won't be possible to cater for everyone's wishes so what is needed is a team approach where government, business groups, welfare groups and consumer groups agree on the best way forward for the WA community as a whole."

Mr Ripper said there would be a further opportunity for public comments on the review when the interim draft report is issued.

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