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Wednesday, 25 August 1937

Senator JAMES McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   Has the Government, in response to numerous applications, made provision for exemption of local-governing bodies from sales tax on all articles used by them intheir public works?

2.   If not, what is the reason for discriminating between these bodies and State government departments ?

Senator Sir GEORGEPEARCE.The Treasurer has supplied the following answers: -

l.   There is no provision in the sales tax law for exemption from sales tax in respect of all articles used by local-governing bodies in their public works. The Government has, however, in practice, exempted a wide range of equipment and materials used by localgoverning bodies, notably -

(i)   materials for the formation or maintenance of roads;

(ii)   piping, channelling and guttering;

(iii)   bricks, cement, concrete, timber, glass and other building materials as specified in the Sales Tax Exemptions Act;

(iv)   goods for the use of public transport authorities exclusively in the conduct of transport services.

In addition, exemption has also been allowed in respect of electric current, gas, and water supplied by public bodies or authorities.

2.   The exemption of goods for use by State government departments was primarily the result of difficulties and anomalies which were encountered in 1930-31 in attempts to levy sales tax on such goods, and which were associated mainly with the limitations imposed by the Constitution upon the taxation of State governments. Similar limitations are not imposed upon the taxation of localgoverning bodies.

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