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Saturday, December 5, 2020
Ian Cubitts
Ian Cubitts

ACT Government books buoyed by bumper tax revenue

The 2018-19 financial year saw the ACT Government take in $1,815,593,000 in tax revenue, up on the $1,601,554,000 brought in over 2017-18, according to the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate’s Annual Report 2018-19.

The $214 million increase year on year constitutes a 13% rise in tax revenue.

Headlining the revenue rise is an 11%, or $70 million boost to their general rates and land tax, which was $695.88 million in the last financial year.

The Government puts their revenue boost down to increases in land values; and to more properties being subject to land tax under legislation as a result of budget initiatives introduced in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 Budgets.

The ACT Government’s payroll tax intake jumped by $76.9 million, bringing in $656.34 million in 2018-19, up from $579.49 million in 2017-18, which was put down to a stronger ACT labour market.

The introduction of the Betting Operation Tax on 1 January 2019 is another factor attributed to the increased ACT Government income.

The Betting Operation Tax takes 15% of the net wagering revenue received by betting operators for bets placed in the ACT, or bets made by ACT residents.

Curiously, the ACT Government’s traffic fine intake dropped from $27.46 million in 2017-18 to $23.89 million in 2018-19.

The Government attributes this reduction to construction activity (e.g. construction of the Light Rail), which affected the use of fixed and red-light traffic cameras.

However, they were able to recover $2.19 million of that lost traffic fine revenue through an increase in parking fines.

Much to the frustration of local drivers, the introduction of increased enforcement activity, including the introduction of additional license plate recognition systems is what the Directorate attributes the increase in revenue to.

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