Fairer Tax Deal Needed for Motorists


The peak national motoring organisation, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), will urge next week's Tax Forum to support a fairer deal for motorists, ensuring that road transport tax revenues be dedicated to fund
stronger investment in transport infrastructure.

"Australian motorists are already heavily taxed. Total petrol and diesel fuel excise levied by the Federal Government is estimated to be $13.48 billion in 2011-12. In addition, motorists face state government taxes including vehicle registration fees and motor vehicle stamp duty", said Andrew McKellar, AAA Executive Director.

"But when you look at how much of this revenue is then spent on roads and other land transport infrastructure, there is a significant shortfall. The reality is that motorists are being short-changed", said Mr McKellar.

"We need to ensure there is a dedicated link between the taxes motorists pay and the future approach to funding investment in land transport", he said.

"As a starting point we would urge the Australian Government to ensure that an increased proportion of the amount collected in fuel excise is channelled back into Federal spending on roads", Mr McKellar said.

"We should not overlook the significant return increased investment in transport infrastructure would have in terms of enhanced productivity and road safety outcomes", he said.

The Henry Review found that the existing structure of fuel tax, annual registration and other road-related taxes is designed primarily to raise revenue. The review also urged consideration should be given to possible
future approaches to road pricing and road funding", said Mr McKellar.

"The AAA is open to looking at future options for road pricing and funding for land transport infrastructure. However, our clear position is that existing taxes, such as fuel excise, must be abolished as part of the reform process. Motorists cannot be expected to carry a heavier tax burden than they already bear", he said.

"The AAA supports reform of other motoring related taxes, including the abolition of state stamp duties and the luxury car tax", Mr McKellar said.


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