Territory Stories

Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 21 November 2017



Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 21 November 2017

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Parliamentary Record 9


Questions for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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QUESTIONS Tuesday 21 November 2017 544 Land Tax Mrs FINOCCHIARO to CHIEF MINISTER At a Property Council function in 2016, you categorically ruled out a land tax, yet just over one year later, your government is proposing a big new land tax. Is this a case of another broken promise? Will you now, once and for all, rule out a land tax under this Labor government? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I went to the Property Council last week. I spoke for 15 minutes and took questions for at least 45 minutes, so I spent at least a full hour on stage, talking with the Property Council about the various issues, especially on our revenue paper. I made it clear that we want to have a conversation with all stakeholders, including the Property Council, about what we can do, how to quote the best tax mix in the Territory and what are the right ways around. We had some advice from the Property Council when we were there. One person said that if we consider a land tax, it has to be broad-based. Another person asked if we could look at the difference between improved versus unimproved, so we had a conversation in the room about the various forms of taxation you can have in the NT. We talked about if we cut or lowered stamp duty what would we replace it with? How would we handle that? What would we do with payroll tax, ad valorema lot came up that we wanted to talk about. It was a very clear and constructive conversation. We said we were giving an opportunity that business has not had in the Territory for decades, which is to put forward a constructive idea about what they think is the right tax mix for the NT. What is it? What is the shape that will best drive economic investment in the NT? We are giving them an opportunity to contribute to the second budget, our next budget, about the tax mix in the NT. I want to thank the Property Council for having me, allowing me to speak and taking those questions off the floor. I spoke with them directly about what we are doing with the revenue paper and the kind of conversation we want to have with Territorians about the shape of the budget and the tax system, recognising that these are levers we can pull and the way the tax system is shaped can drive and direct investment. Concessions to first home buyers, which were scrapped by the CLPa change made without consultation that was deeply unpopularwere brought back this term. We have seen more than double first home buyers in the NT. How you adjust your tax system drives and directs returns. That was a positive return for the Territory, because it got more first home owners buying their little piece of the Territory. That is what we are doing. We will have another budget; that is a fact. We will consider, as part of that budget, how we spend and earn, and we want you to be part of the conversation about what we do. For the first time in decades we are having businesses and Territorians at the table to talk about the revenue mix in the Territory. Mrs FINOCCHIARO: A point of order, Madam Speaker! Standing Order 110: relevance. Will the Chief Minister rule out a land tax in the Northern Territory? Mr GUNNER: I have given the Deputy Leader of the Opposition the exact answer I gave the Property Council, which is that we have put out a paper that discusses everything. We have opened up all the opportunities to have a conversation about what the best tax system is for the NT to make sure it can pay for our schools, hospitals and public roads, but at the same time, drive and direct investment in the Territory. Businesses have a seat at the table that they have been denied for decades.

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