ALGA calls for end to rate capping at Tax Forum

ALGA made a call for an end to rate capping in New South Wales and the Northern Territory, at the recent two day Tax Forum.

The Association also cautioned against land tax reform that might crowd out Local Government rate revenue.

It also called on the Commonwealth to ensure that the financial capacity of the States to support councils was not impacted by any tax reform.

ALGA President Genia McCaffery said the two day Tax Forum, held in Canberra last month, provided an important chance to discuss reform proposals relating to tax policy along with revenue collection and distribution.

"ALGA was pleased to participate in the Forum to highlight our significant issues, regarding property rates and land tax reform, road pricing reform and transfer payments and income redistribution," she said.

"Some commentators may write off the Forum as a talk fest, and perhaps it is a pity that the Forum was not held at the time of the release of the Report of the Henry Tax Review 18 months ago, but the atmosphere of the Forum was both intense and positive."

"In form, it resembled a mix of town hall meeting and ministerial council and the participants pulled no punches in advocating their positions or calling for radical reform."

"At the inter governmental level, the State and the Commonwealth went head to head on the issue of getting rid of inefficient state taxes."

"There was also recognition of Local Government's need to receive a better share of road funding from heavy vehicle usage through the current reform process."

ALGA's submission to the Forum also reiterated its views that Local Government needs a fairer share of the revenue raised by taxes to deliver local services and infrastructure and that any reform of road charging for heavy vehicles should lead to better resourcing for councils.