10/05/2018 - 15:10

Miners, property buyers face higher levies

10/05/2018 - 15:10

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

State government revenue will be boosted by several policy measures announced today, including increased cost recovery from the mining, maritime and justice sectors, removal of the resource sector’s exemption from a training levy, and an increased levy on foreign property buyers.

Miners, property buyers face higher levies
AMEC chief executive Warren Pearce. Photo: Attila Csaszar

State government revenue will be boosted by several policy measures announced today, including increased cost recovery from the mining, maritime and justice sectors, removal of the resources sector’s exemption from a training levy, and an increased levy on foreign property buyers.

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies said the budget had about $65 million of increased fees, charges and levies across the mining industry.

“On top the significant royalty payments, tenement rentals and other fees and charges, it cannot be said that the mining and mineral exploration industry is not paying its way,” AMEC chief executive Warren Pearce said.

On top of these measures, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia said the continued increase in payroll tax over the next four years, as previously announced, would be paid largely by WA’s iron ore industry.  

The new costs facing the resources sector include removal of its exemption from the Building and Construction Industry Training Fund.

The levy currently applies to all residential, commercial and civil engineering projects and is estimated to raise $35 million in 2018-19.

From the start of July, the 0.2 per cent levy will be extended to resources sector projects, raising an estimated $25 million over the next four years.

The proceeds will be reinvested in training.

A larger boost will come from an increase in the surcharge applied to foreign buyers of residential properties.

The increase, from 4 per cent to 7 per cent, brings WA into line with most other states.

It will contribute an estimated $50 million over four years, lifting the total contribution from the levy to $123 million.

The Urban Development Institute of Australia WA voiced disappointment with this move.

“The government is underestimating the impact that the increase to the foreign buyers surcharge could have on the property market recovery in WA,” UDIA CEO Allison Hailes said. 

“On the one hand, the government has highlighted in the budget papers the improved housing market conditions in WA and likelihood of price rises in 2018-19, and on the other hand they are potentially quashing those early signs of recovery with a tax impost on a significant group of potential investors we want to encourage into WA.” 

Other measures announced today include a lift in mining tenement rent fees - they will increase by 6 per cent in each of the next two years, raising $10 million per annum from 2019-20.

This will be used to fund continuation of the exploration incentive scheme.

Iron ore miners Fortescue Metals Group, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton will be among the first companies to pay into the Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund, with contributions estimated to total $13 million across the next four years.

The fund will receive contributions from mining companies that cannot otherwise mitigate the impact of their operations on the environment.

The government will use the proceeds to fund projects such as pest, plant and animal control, fire management and erosion control, and has budgeted to spend $9.3 million over four years.

Increased cost recovery in the area of environmental regulation, including for clearing permits, will generate an additional $19 million over the next four years.

The proceeds will be used to employ extra staff in environmental regulation and compliance functions and to develop a streamlined online application process for environmental approvals.

The Department of Water will implement a state-wide fee structure for marine facilities, with associated fees to increase by 10 per cent (plus CPI) in each year over a maximum of 10 years.

This will raise an extra $10 million over the next four years and will be used to fund repairs and maintenance for maritime infrastructure.

The Department of Justice will lift court and tribunal fees by 7.5 per cent in 2018-19 to pay for two extra magistrates and for security screening at courthouses.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options