By; Viv Forbes.
Chairman, The Carbon Sense coalition.
The Carbon Sense Coalition today claimed that the Henry Tax review, designed to provide Australia with a more efficient tax system, had completely failed in the carbon tax area, with three complex carbon taxes now and more being promoted by Climate alarmists.
The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that a philosophy of centralisation, a developing budget crisis, electoral considerations and climate alarmism were now driving tax policy.
“Australia now has three taxes on coal.
“Firstly, coal companies pay the same federal profit-based corporate tax that every other company pays, at the same rate.
“Secondly, every coal miner must pay “Coal Royalties” to state governments who own the mineral resources. Coal royalties are payable even if the mine makes a loss. All mining companies pay royalties.
“Thirdly, if the current federal proposals become law, coal, iron and gas companies will pay an additional profit-based “resource rent tax” to the Federal Government. (see note.)
“Yet global warming alarmists are calling for still more carbon taxes.
“If you tax something you will get less of it.
“How many carbon taxes do we need before we achieve Bob Brown’s green dream of zero coal mining: “We can do without coal and we can do without gas”?
“And with all these taxes restricting the growth of our biggest resource industries why is the government promising to spend tax money on transport infrastructure? Coal is the greatest user of transport infrastructure in eastern Australia and much coal revenue is diverted to coal royalties and rail and port charges.
“With three taxes already curbing the growth of the coal industry, and global warming alarmists demanding still more carbon taxes, it is no wonder that the Premier of Queensland wants to sell the state rail and port facilities.”
“The Federal Treasurer should also remember that the tax on nothing is nothing”.
Note: Coal companies also pay rent on their mining leases to the state government, special high rates to local government authorities, and fringe benefits tax on any accommodation provided to employees.
Disclosure: Viv Forbes is a mineral economist and a non-executive director of a small Australian-owned coal exploration company which is probably exempt from the new RRT.