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Legislative Council passes stamp duty bill

MPs support removal of stamp duty on purchases of new truck trailers, but Greens say states should have increased fees

By Brad Gardner | October 24, 2012

A change to stamp duty for heavy vehicle trailers in New South Wales has passed the Legislative Council amid claims the trucking industry should pay a higher rate.

MPs voted in favour of the State Revenue Legislation Further Amendment Bill, which will exempt trucking operators from paying stamp duty when buying new trailers.

The Bill, which has bipartisan support, passed the Legislative Assembly earlier this month.

It is designed to encourage trucking companies to purchase and register their trailers in NSW by aligning the state with the policies of other jurisdictions.

Despite supporting the Bill, Greens MP Dr John Kaye criticised the Government for not attempting to work with other states to increase the rate and use the revenue to fund rail projects.

“The other alternative would be to have gone to the treasurers or finance ministers in other states and attempted to negotiate uniform fee that was somewhat higher than is being applied in some other states,” he says.

“That opportunity has been lost by this legislation.”

Kaye says the external costs of a heavy vehicle should be included in stamp duty and registration fees.

“It is important that we not allow duties and registration charges to fall below the attributable cost of a road trailer. Of course, the attributable cost ought to include greenhouse impacts, as well as road damage and congestion costs,” he says.

Finance and Services Minister Greg Pearce says the Bill will bring NSW into line with Queensland and Victoria, which have charged less or no stamp duty for heavy vehicle trailers for a number of years.

“For too long, heavy vehicle operators have realised the savings to be had by registering their vehicles and trailers in neighbouring states,” he says.

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