Help with the GST

Under an initiative announced recently by the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Senator Ian Macdonald, up to $2.51 million will be provided in 1999 - 00 under the Local Government Incentive Programme to assist councils prepare for the introduction of the GST.

GST assistance will comprise two components:

a notional allocation to the State and Northern Territory Local Government Associations; and

a notional allocation to the States and the Northern Territory based on the number of councils.

The council allocations will be administered through the Associations to enable strategic use of the available funds.

Details of the funding allocations by State and the Northern Territory are:

State

Association
Funding ($)

Notional
Allocation ($)

Total
Funding ($)

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

NT

Total

266,000

202,000

223,000

118,000

100,000

67,000

74,000

1,050,000

360,000

158,000

312,000

284,000

148,000

58,000

140,000

1,460,000

626,000

360,000

535,000

402,000

248,000

125,000

214,000

2,510,000

The types of activities the Commonwealth is prepared to fund include training for Local Government elected representatives and staff, software upgrades, specialist accounting and legal advice and local impact analysis.

Senator Macdonald emphasised that the Associations must pay attention to the special needs of councils in regional and remote Australia, including the indigenous community councils, in devising GST assistance programmes for councils.

In addition to assistance under the Local Government Incentive Programme, help for councils with the New Tax System can be obtained from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

You can obtain information by:

Phoning the business Tax Reform Infoline on 13 24 78

Phoning the Diesel Fuel Infoline on 1300 657 162

Downloading information from the ATO website at www.taxreform.ato.gov.au

Obtaining A Fax From Tax on 13 28 60 or

Writing to the ATO at PO Box 9935 in your capital city.