De-siloing and defining recurrent land tax revenue in Australia

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Journal Article
Australasian Journal of Regional Studies, 2016, 22 (1), pp. 58 - 78
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Australia has capacity to increase effort from recurrent land taxation while reducing less efficient transaction taxes on property. The objective of increasing land tax revenue is thwarted by a number of factors of which this paper examines the impost of recurrent land tax by state and local government as they compete for the same tax base. This paper examines land tax revenue collected by state and local government between 2001 and 2012 inclusive, with trends measured at the beginning, middle and end of this period. The paper finds that revenue is progressively increasing from state land tax as a total share of recurrent land tax revenues. However, Australia still lags the advanced OECD economies in total revenue collected from this source as a percentage of GDP and as a percentage of total tax. It concludes that while Australia remains one of the few countries to impose a dual land tax across two tiers of government, it is not likely for land tax to make the necessary contribution in reforming Australia's tax system under the current two tier structure. It further shows that local government is, more likely, the acceptable tier of government to collect and administer this tax into the future.
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