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South Australia Bank Tax Passes Lower House

by Mary Swire, Tax-news.com, Hong Kong

11 August 2017


Legislation to implement the South Australian Government's proposed bank levy has passed the state parliament's lower house.

The measure formed part of a package of Budget reforms. The Opposition failed in its attempt to pass amendments that would have removed the bank levy from the Budget legislation.

If the legislation is passed through the upper house, it would impose a levy of 0.015 percent per quarter. The retrospective start date for the levy would be July 1, 2017, the date on which a federal bank levy entered into force. The state levy will only affect liabilities also subject to the federal tax.

During the debate, Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said that there was "no basis" for the levy. He warned that the measure "is only going to further diminish our capacity as a state to attract investment capital into South Australia."

Marshall added that the state has the highest unemployment rate in the country, and that "the last thing we need to be doing is creating a further burden on people who would like to invest or employ people in our state."

On the day of the debate, the Australian Bankers' Association published a poll of 2,100 South Australians which it said shows that 52 percent of voters in seven key seats oppose the tax. It said that only 34 percent of electors in these areas support the measure, and that 45 percent believe that there will be fewer jobs in the state as a result of the tax.

TAGS: tax | investment | banking | Australia | unemployment | legislation | tax rates | tax reform

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