Page 6010 - Week 18 - Thursday, 12 December 1991

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As a further safeguard against revenue losses due to bad debts, the Liquor Tax Bill provides that all licence transfers, including existing licences, will require the discharge of any outstanding licensing debt by the transferee of the licence, who will then be required to pay liquor tax in advance on estimated purchases, as with new licensees.

Mr Speaker, as the Liquor Act is principally a regulatory enactment, the Liquor Tax Bill has been created to specifically provide for the assessment and payment of liquor tax. The proposed taxing Act will be incorporated under the Taxation (Administration) Act 1987 so that the enforcement powers and administrative mechanisms under that Act which apply to other tax laws will also apply to the liquor tax legislation.

Members of the Assembly should note that the scheme proposed by the Liquor Tax Bill is revenue neutral, designed merely to reduce the Territory's exposure to revenue losses. After considerable negotiation, objections by the liquor industry to a scheme proposed by the former Government have been addressed in developing the new legislation. I present the explanatory memorandum for the Bill.

Debate (on motion by Mr Duby) adjourned.


MS FOLLETT (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (12.13): I present the Liquor Tax (Consequential Provisions) Bill 1991. I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, the Liquor Act 1975 is principally a regulatory enactment but at present also provides for the taxing of liquor transactions in the Territory. As part of the legislative package that abolished the ACT Gaming and Liquor Authority, the revenue collection powers under the Liquor Act became the responsibility of the Commissioner for ACT Revenue.

The existing provisions of the Liquor Act in respect of the collection of liquor fees are not as comprehensive as or consistent with the provisions applying to the collection of other ACT taxes which, other than rates, land tax and gambling taxes, are administered under the general umbrella provisions of the Taxation (Administration) Act 1987.

To incorporate the collection of liquor fees as a tax law under the Taxation (Administration) Act, the Liquor Tax (Consequential Provisions) Bill will remove all relevant provisions from the Liquor Act. Accordingly, liquor tax

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