The Henry Review of Australia's Future Tax System: Implications for Local Government
This working paper was prepared by John Passant and John McLaren of the University of Canberra and closely examines a range of issues canvassed by the Australia's Future Tax System Review of 2010 (the Henry Review) that relate to local government.
- The need for councils to have sufficient autonomy in setting rates
- Integration of rates and land tax
- The distribution of financial assistance grants
- The potential for expanded road user charges
- The problem facing Australians in relation to housing affordability
- The cost of providing aged care in a country with an ageing population
- The longer term financial capacity of the states
- The application of economic rent.
The paper makes suggestions for future action to be undertaken by local government and highlights opportunities for the sector to influence the debate about the future shape of the Australian taxation and tax transfer system. It suggests in the first instance, the opportunities related to the federal government Tax Forum planned for October 2011, and concludes that it would be unwise for local government to plan for nothing more than minimal change.