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Government in Retreat on Taxing of Lessee Farmers

Government in Retreat on Taxing of Taranaki Farmers

Wednesday 28th Mar 2001 Rodney Hide Media Release -- Economy

ACT Finance spokesman Rodney Hide said today that it was great news that Finance Minister Michael Cullen is accepting PriceWaterhouseCoopers tax expert John Shewan’s advice on the taxing of Taranaki farmers. Mr Shewan said: “In our view the Bill is flawed and, if enacted, will effectively result in lessees being charged twice for taxation in relation to compensation paid to lessees.”

“This is what the ACT party has been telling Dr Cullen since Monday when he first proposed his mad taxation scheme.

“If the present Bill goes through, no property owner in New Zealand will be safe. The government robbed these landowners. Now with their crazy tax proposal, they are trying to rob them again.

“The issue is simple enough. The farmers are being compensated for having their property rights swiped off them to settle a Maori claim.

“They have suffered a capital loss. They are being compensated for this loss – and such compensation is never taxed and should not be taxed because it is not income.

“A homeowner could have a house worth a hundred thousand dollars. The government could come along under the Public Works Act and take a big slice off the back section for a motorway. The loss might be valued at $50,000. That’s what the government would have to pay as compensation. That loss should not be taxed – that would leave the homeowner out of pocket. That is precisely what Michael Cullen is proposing happen to these landowners and he is doing so retrospectively.

“This issue is far bigger than just the affected farmers. Every property owner is at risk if this taxation proposal is not knocked on the head.

“Mr Cullen should not be using the farmers of the Taranaki who have already been robbed once to shore up his upcoming Budget,” Rodney Hide said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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