14/05/2009 - 15:11

WA budget provides tax relief for SMEs

14/05/2009 - 15:11


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The state budget will deliver $123 million tax relief, mainly in payroll and land tax, as part of measures to support business and jobs.

The state budget will deliver $123 million tax relief, mainly in payroll and land tax, as part of measures to support business and jobs.

Small and medium business owners with payrolls up to $3.2 million will be eligible to receive one-off payroll tax rebate.

Employers with payrolls up to $1.6 million will be paid a one-off rebate to fully offset their 2009-10 payroll tax liabilities, up to a maximum of $46,750.

The rebate will be phased down for employers with a payroll between $1.6 million and $3.2 million The government has also committed to reforming land tax, with a 50 per cent cap on growth in land values for the purposes of assessing land tax and the metroplitan region improvement tax (MRIT).

It will also re-introduce concessions for property developers, allowing developers to pay land tax and MRIT on the lower undeveloped value of land holdings rather than the full subdivided value of lots, for one year after the creation of lots.

The budget delivers a $155 million jobs protection package supporting the employers of apprentices and trainees, the unemployed and the tourism industry.

In addition to the payroll tax rebate, the package will deliver a rebate on workers' compensation premiums for first year apprentices and trainees over the next two years, and exemptions on course fees to eligible unemployed Western Australians.

The government will also provide $2 million for the BIZFit business resilience program, designed to provide hands-on training, support and guidance to small business operators, to be delivered by the Small Business Development Corporation.

The government will also provide an additional $5.7 million for tourism marketing to protect the 80,000 jobs.

The state's Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed the payroll tax rebate, saying its a step in the right direction but it should be made permanent.

CCIWA chief executive James Pearson said the $100 million rebate announced in the budget was a good start but the chamber would like to see the measure brought in permanently.

"The measure announced today is a welcome step in the right direction and it will help small business - (but) it doesn't go far enough and it's only a temporary measure, and we'll be pressing the government to make meaningful payroll tax relief a permanent feature of West Australian state finances," Mr Pearson told reporters.

Small businesses would be set to gain as much as a $47,000 rebate over the course of a year based on the chamber's preliminary assessment of the figures on the payroll tax measure, Mr Pearson said.

An economic audit committee of government services would be an important part of the government's challenge to avoid budget deficit in future, Mr Pearson said.

Further reforms of public sector finances would be necessary, he said.



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