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Tuesday, 11 September 1973
Page: 765

Mr CREAN (Melbourne Ports) (Treasurer) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

This Bill will give effect to the Budget proposal to increase the rate of pay-roll tax in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. The present rate of 21 per cent will be increased to 3} per cent from 1 September 1973 and to 4i per cent from 1 July 1974. Since the transfer of the tax to the States in September 1971, pay-roll tax has been payable in respect of salaries and wages related to the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory under legislation applying only in the Territories. The rate of 2i per cent at which the tax was levied before 1 September 1971 has continued to apply in the Territories although each of the States imposed tax at the rate of 3i per cent from that date.

Following the Premiers Conference last June the Premiers foreshadowed an increase to 4i per cent in the rate of pay-roll tax in the States. Legislation to bring the rate up to that level as from 1 September 1973 has already been introduced in some State parliaments. There is no good reason why territory employers should not be called upon to meet taxes and charges comparable with those borne by employers in the States. Accordingly this Bill will, in 2 steps, bring the territory rate into line with the rate applying in the States. The immediate increase to 3i per cent will apply to wages payable on and after 1 September 1973 and included in payroll tax returns due for lodgment on 7 October 1973. I just add that I have also circulated an explanatory memorandum. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on morion by Mr Gorton) adjourned.

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