Page 4273 - Week 13 - Thursday, 17 November 2005
total value if a vehicle is purchased with modifications. These modifications are necessary to provide greater mobility for people with a disability, and it is not equitable to charge duty on their cost simply because that cost is included in the price paid for the vehicle.
This exemption is intended to apply broadly. It applies to an owner with a disability who requires modifications to be able to drive a vehicle and to an owner of a specifically modified vehicle that is used to transport a person with a disability. The definition of a person with a disability in the Duties Act has been broadened and modernised to give effect to this proposal and to ensure consistency with the commonwealth/state/territory disability agreement.
The bill also makes two amendments to the Payroll Tax Act. The first requires employers to register with the commissioner when wages exceed the determined threshold. To avoid any inconvenience, employers who lodged returns in the month before the commencement of this provision will be deemed to have registered when this provision commences. This measure will bring the ACT into line with other jurisdictions and with the registration requirements of other ACT returns taxes.
The second Payroll Tax Act amendment provides an exemption for wages paid by group training organisations to trainees, including apprentices. Group training organisations play an important role in helping to address skill shortages by providing continuous employment and training for trainees. There are also benefits to the host of employers who might not have the resources or the quantity of work to employ and occupy a full-time trainee.
Action 35 of the economic white paper acknowledges the provision of these benefits. It forecasts the government’s intention to provide an exemption from payroll tax to wages paid or payable by group training organisations to second and third-year apprentices. This bill implements this policy objective and goes a further step to include all wages paid or payable by an approved group training organisation to eligible trainees for the full term of the contract, which may be up to four years.
Group training organisations must apply to the Commissioner for ACT Revenue for this exemption. It is restricted to wages paid to trainees by not-for-profit group training organisations that provide training to trainees under approved training contracts and place these trainees with a host of employers.
As a revenue protection measure, this bill amends the Rates Act and Land Tax Act to augment existing provisions to allow the commissioner to recover outstanding amounts of rates and taxes from long-term debtors. Under both acts, the commissioner can apply to the court for an order to sell a property for the non-payment of rates and land tax. If the court is satisfied the provisions of the act apply, the court must order the sale of the property by public auction. The commissioner must follow certain procedures prior to making the application to the court, and only persistent offenders, who have been in arrears for more than two years, can be pursued under these provisions.
The proposed sale of property may be stopped at any time by the payment of the total debt, including all reasonable costs and expenses incurred by the commissioner up to the date of payment. The bill clarifies that any residual costs relating to the abandonment of