From July next year, the NSW Liberal and National Government want every local council to collect a new land tax for them – the ‘Emergency Services Property Levy’ (ESPL). The new state government tax will be included on all council rate notices. But Premier Baird won’t put the legislation to Parliament until the very last minute to avoid a community campaign against this new tax. Parliament doesn’t even sit again until next February.
The devil will be in the detail, and it is all being kept secret behind closed doors in Macquarie Street. There could be different tax rates for commercial, residential and rural properties. Some groups are worried that the tax could shift costs from metropolitan or commercial classifications onto residential and rural landowners. The Government has refused to say if it will compensate councils for the cost of collecting the new tax, or if local ratepayers will also be hit with this extra cost.
The community and local councils have a right to know. After all, residents and small businesses will have to find the money to pay it.
Ryan Park MP
Peter Primrose MLC
Shadow Minister for Local Government