Tasmania: Budget for the 2014-15 financial year
The Tasmanian State Budget for the 2014-15 financial year was delivered on 28 August 2014 by the Tasmanian Treasurer.
The Government has forecast a deficit of $285 million for 2014–15, decreasing to a deficit of $118 million by 2017–18. The Government anticipates that a return to operating surpluses will be achieved in approximately six years. Taxation revenues have been revised up to $983.2 million, an increase of 4.6 per cent above the 2013–14 Budget Estimate. Expected growth in the Tasmanian economy for 2014-15 is 1.5 per cent.
State taxes generally
The Government has not introduced any new taxes or increased the rate of any existing taxes in the Budget or over the Forward Estimates. Notably, total revenue is only estimated to grow at an average annual rate of 1.9 per cent over the Budget and Forward Estimates, which is below the long run trend of 4.4 per cent per annum. State taxation revenue, however, is forecast to grow at an average rate of 2.9 per cent from 2014–15.
The Government has introduced its fourth Employee Incentive Scheme Payroll Tax Rebate. This measure will provide private sector employers who create additional, eligible positions in Tasmania from 30 June 2014 to 30 June 2015 with a payroll tax rebate for up to two years.
The Government will reduce the tax rate on light vehicles over two years, commencing 1 July 2017, back to pre 1 October 2012 levels (adjusted for inflation).
First Home Builders Boost
The First Home Builders Boost scheme will no longer expire on 31 December 2014. The Government has decided to extend the arrangements for six months from 1 January 2015 to 30 June 2015 at a level of $20,000 and then continue the scheme at $10,000 from 1 July 2015 on an ongoing basis.
Key capital expenditures
A focus of the 2014–15 Budget is spending on major infrastructure projects, with an estimated $1.6 billion to be spent over the Budget and Forward Estimates.
In 2014–15, the planned investment in infrastructure is $391.1 million and includes:
- $30.8 million for schools and education infrastructure
- $100.3 million for hospitals and health infrastructure
- $43.9 million for housing;$191.6 million for roads infrastructure
- $8.6 million for prisons, and
- $12.6 million for tourism, recreation and culture.
Queensland: Payroll tax
On 5 September 2014, the Queensland Treasurer announced that from next year, businesses with an annual payroll tax liability of less than $20,000 will now only be required to lodge payroll tax returns twice a year, instead of every month.