TAX AXE MEANS MONEY

Written on the 17 July 2014

TAX AXE MEANS MONEY

THE AXING of the carbon tax not only means lower electricity bills, but also a one-off refund for Brisbane ratepayers.

The average family will save about $170 a year off their household electricity bill due to the abolishment of the tax.

The $36 refund will return the estimated cost of the scrapped carbon tax from council’s 2014/15 budget as well as refunds from previous years related to landfill carbon emissions costs.

Lord mayor Graham Quirk is against waiting for the next budget to refund ratepayers, and says the refund will instead be provided with the next quarterly rates bill in October.

He welcomed the senate’s decision.

“I have been against the carbon tax since its 2012 inception and it has produced additional cost pressures that council has needed to pass onto ratepayers,” says Quirk.

“The abolition of the carbon tax will apply negative pressure on inflation, which will be reflected in council rates in future years.

“The more that cost pressures can be reduced on council, the more we can keep rate increases down. 

“We aren’t waiting for the next budget to refund ratepayers, and instead will take action in the next rates bill – this is the fairest and most efficient way of ensuring ratepayers are not out of pocket by the scrapping of the tax.”

Quirk says the refund is based on the specifics of $17.03 million included in the 2014/15 budget, and another $7.1 million collected through rates in 2012/13 and 2013/14 for landfill carbon emission costs.

He says an additional $6.7 million was collected by council through gate fees at waste transfer facilities to cover future liabilities of the carbon tax from customers in 2012/13 and 2013/14.

Council will return this carbon tax component of transfer station fees to those private companies and other organisations which could be identified as customers. This totals approximately 80 per cent and the remaining portion will be put toward landfill remediation works.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) supported the view that the repeal would reduce living pressures.

HIA chief executive of industry policy and media, Graham Wolfe, says the impact of the tax has been felt across industries and the repeal will serve as a revival. 

"The carbon tax has impacted on domestic manufacturing, jobs and material input costs in building new homes," says Wolfe. 

"It has had a direct impact on energy production costs, which in turn flowed through the manufacturing and fabrication phases of building material, product and assembly production."

 


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