A square deal? Mining costs, mining royalties and local government in New South Wales, Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Resources Policy, 2018, 55 pp. 113 - 122
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Mining operations are often controversial since they can impose significant external costs on the local municipalities and local inhabitants. Under current legislative arrangements in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, local governments are constrained from recouping costs directly from mines by means of increased property taxes on mines due to state-wide limitations on tax increases – known colloquially as the ‘rate-cap’. Moreover, mining royalties are paid directly to the NSW government and not to affected councils. In this paper, set against the background of mining activities in NSW, we estimate the magnitude of costs imposed by mining operations on rural and regional local authorities. We then offer alternative public policy solutions which would enable affected municipalities to recoup some or all of the cost burden placed on them by mining operations in their respective local government areas.
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