Federal MP Calls for Reassessment of Pokie Taxes in Annual GST Carve-Up
Federal Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan is calling for changes to the assessment for the annual GST carve-up. She is calling on the Western Australian government to launch a High Court challenge in order to include gaming taxes in the assessment for GST.
Currently, gambling taxes are excluded from the Commonwealth Grants Commission distribution and MacTiernan wants to see states that are earning billions of dollars in poker machine and other gambling tax revenue to contribute more to the GST carve-up.
Unlike in the other states, electronic gaming machines are not allowed in pubs and clubs in Western Australia, resulting in a relatively small amount of gaming revenue collected by the state. NSW and Victoria collect the highest amount of annual gambling revenue of around $2 billion each per year, while Queensland collects around $1 billion per year. In contrast, WA collected $320 million in 2014-15.
In order for this to happen, the CGC would need to consider actual gambling taxes collected by each state, rather than the potential for states to collect revenue, as with other taxes.
Currently, Western Australia’s revenue from iron ore is included in the Commonwealth Grants Commission distribution and MacTiernan estimates that if gambling revenue from the states is included as well, Western Australia could benefit by around $400 million per annum.
MacTiernan has support for her call by the state opposition’s Treasury spokesman, Ben Wyatt, as well as a senior federal Liberal MP who wishes to remain anonymous. However, state Treasurer, Dr Mike Nahan, says he supports the government’s current assessment and distribution.
“This is nothing more than a smokescreen created by Alannah MacTiernan in a vain attempt to suggest Labor has tried to do something about the GST,” he stated. “As with most smokescreens, when you take away the smoke, there is nothing there.”
March 30, 2017