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Local Government Forum should do Tax Law 101

Thursday 22 July, 2004

Local Government Forum should do Tax Law 101

The Local Government Forum is factually wrong to suggest that removing GST on rates would raise costs for everyone, United Future revenue spokesman Gordon Copeland said today.

"If my Bill removing GST on rates becomes law then businesses will, of course, have nothing to claim back because they won't have paid it in the first place! The removal of GST on rates will be completely neutral for rate-paying businesses. Their costs will be exactly as they are now.

"It is unbelievable that a body such as the forum has such a woefully inadequate understanding of GST. It is simply out of touch.

"Anyone who has completed a GST return for a business knows that you only claim GST back if you have paid it in the first place. It is as simple as that.

"Let's be clear. The removal of GST on rates will not alter the net revenue of councils or the net revenue of businesses. It will, however, mean that the 12.5% GST impost will no longer be added to the bills of 1.7 million ratepayers," Mr Copeland said.

"Frankly, I am also staggered that the forum, which has consistently called for lower taxes, should find fault with a proposal which will leave at least $160 million in the pockets of New Zealanders."

ENDS

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