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Thursday, 21 February 1980
Page: 262

Mr HOWARD (Bennelong) (Treasurer) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

This Bill will raise the level of the general exemption from pay-roll tax applicable to the Australian Capital Territory. The Minister for the Capital Territory (Mr Ellicott) and I announced the proposed increase on 27 November 1979. The exemption is to be raised from $66,000 to $72,000 per annum. The higher level will apply from 1 January 1980, thus providing an exemption for 1979-80 of $69,000 on a full-year basis. The last increase applied from 1 January 1979 when the exemption was brought up to $66,000 in line with that allowed in New South Wales. New South Wales has since increased its exemption level to $72,000 per annum with effect from 1 January 1980.

The maximum exemption allowable in monthly returns will increase from $5,500 to $6,000 and, in conformity with the existing rules for the phasing out of the maximum annual exemption, will be reduced at the rate of $2 for every $3 by which the wages for the month exceed $6,000. There will be no exemption once the monthly payroll reaches $ 1 5,000.

As a general rule, the new exemption will first apply to returns for the month in which this Bill receives the Royal Assent. End-of-year adjustments will ensure that the benefits are in all cases back-dated to 1 January 1980. For returns lodged on an annual basis the new exemption will apply from 1 January 1980.

From the day on which the provisions of the Bill come into operation an employer paying wages of $1,350 or less a week will not be required to register for Australian Capital Territory payroll tax purposes. Explanations of technical aspects of the Bill are contained in an explanatory memorandum being made available to honourable members. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Scholes) adjourned.

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