Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 7 Hansard (3 June) . .
Gallagher government began this process in 2012. Historically, the ACT was particularly dependent upon inefficient taxes, such as stamp duties, to fund its municipal and territory services. The problem with these taxes is their volatility: because they are based on occasional transactions (for example, buying a home), the government never knows how much income it will get. Revenue from these duties can rise and fall dramatically ...
When the government needs the money the most, it is not able to collect it. The editorial continues:
Nor are these kinds of taxes fair. They place the burden of funding public services on an arbitrary group of people (those buying a home) rather than on as wide a section of the community as possible.
This is why former federal Treasury chief Ken Henry, in his comprehensive review in 2010, urged state and territory governments to abandon duties, as well as other inefficient fees such as payroll tax, in favour of a simpler, broader, fairer tax ...
The editorial goes on:
The review noted stamp duties discouraged older people from moving into housing that better suited them.
The great pity is that, five years after the Henry review, the ACT is the only Australian jurisdiction that heeded its advice to any significant extent. But Canberrans are beginning to reap the benefits. The deep deficit reported in this week's budget would have been worse without the tax changes undertaken so far.
The editorial goes on to say:
The other great benefit of abolishing stamp duties in favour of land taxes is its gradual, downward effect on housing prices, opening up a market that has been out of reach of too many Canberra families.
It concludes by saying, "The ACT needs to stay on this course."
DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (11.43): Madam Assistant Speaker, I will speak to the amendment and close the debate. Let us be Canberra and not Sydney. Let us be a livable city today and build a livable city for tomorrow—
Mr Hanson interjecting—
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Lawder): Order!
DR BOURKE: That is what I heard. That is what I heard coming from this side of the house this morning about how our members enjoy the livable features of our city and they enjoy what is most fantastic about where we live here. But what did I hear from the opposition? I heard Mr Hanson arguing against a tax reform which is fair and simple. I can understand the Canberra Liberals being against something that is fair, but simple? Simplicity must be the essence of their understanding of this. We are
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