Concern over land tax plan raised

IMPOST: Paul Funnell of Collingullie says land tax would be a recurring impost for primary producers. Picture: Nikki Reynolds
IMPOST: Paul Funnell of Collingullie says land tax would be a recurring impost for primary producers. Picture: Nikki Reynolds

FARMERS fear a land tax would generate a further impost on primary producers.

The plan to tax agricultural land was raised during the 2020-21 budget by NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet.

But those in the farming sector say primary producers could be left paying an expensive yearly fee in addition to industry levies and council rates.

On the surface talk by the NSW Government of reforming taxes and transforming stamp duty might appear attractive.

However, for primary producers the transition of stamp duty to an ongoing land tax has met with scathing commentary. The plan involves taxing primary production farmland at a rate of .3 per cent of unimproved land value.

Collingullie landholder Paul Funnell of "Mundowey Island," said he was keeping a close eye on what appeared to be a cash grab from the state government.

LAND TAX CONECERNS: Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Murray MP Helen Dalton from the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.

LAND TAX CONECERNS: Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Murray MP Helen Dalton from the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.

Mr Funnell is also a Wagga City Councillor and has been involved in various agricultural board positions over the years.

"Inputs are going up and a land tax is just another revenue raiser, which will put pressure on an industry that has been copping it," he said. Mr Funnell said the season was currently good, however, he said issues such as deregulation of the single desk for selling wheat plus tough drought years were still firmly etched in the minds of producers.

The handling of the Murray-Darling Basin issue was also a bane for the agricultural sector.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Murray MP Helen Dalton from the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area said the concern was that stamp duty was being converted to land tax.

"This is another recurring tax that people will pay, are already paying council rates and LLS (Local Land Services) rates ... this will come up every year, and is a further hardship," Mrs Dalton said.

"Family farmers may find it difficult." Mrs Dalton said unfortunately the land tax issue would play into the hands of developers and corporate operators who could afford to pay it. And this ultimately would hurt family farmers.

"I have spoken to a lot of people and they are not supporting it," Mrs Dalton said.

She said if people were to weigh up stamp duty as opposed to land tax they would accept that at least stamp duty was a one-off tax.