AAA Welcomes the Debate on Motoring Taxation
The Australian Automobile Association (AAA), representing eight constituent clubs with a combined total of almost seven million members, looks forward to participating in the Tax Forum on the 4th and 5th of October. AAA will strongly put forward the case at the Forum that any reform of fuel tax and other motoring taxes, charges and fees should ensure that there is no net increase in the overall cost of motoring. Motorists are already heavily overtaxed, given the combination of fuel excise and the various fixed taxes imposed at the Federal and State levels.
Andrew McKellar, Executive Director of AAA, stated, "Motorists currently get a poor deal. They pay much more in fuel excise than other groups who do the damage to roads, and not enough of what motorists pay is returned to land transport infrastructure. We would like to see this imbalance addressed, and taxes on motorists dedicated to road funding."
AAA advocates that specific changes to motoring taxation need to demonstrate benefits to motorists and include offsetting reductions in other costs if a new or increased charge is proposed. Therefore, AAA is against the imposition of a congestion tax or road user charging on top of existing taxes.
AAA will also argue for nationally consistent and minimal registration charges for passenger motor vehicles, and the removal of stamp duty on vehicle registration. Concern will be expressed that the Luxury Car Tax acts as a disincentive to the uptake of advanced vehicle safety and environmental technologies, and should thus be abolished or reformed.
The National Transport Commission yesterday released the discussion paper Smart Transport for a Growing Nation. AAA welcomes this addition to the debate on how Australia's transport infrastructure is funded, and will respond in due course. However, the headline and comments in the Daily Telegraph today that motorists support a public transport levy are highly dubious. The evenly matched figures of those polled, with no majority in favour, indicate that there is only moderate support for a public transport levy.