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Queensland set to raise taxes on premium cars

Taxing times: A Toyota LandCruiser Sahara would attract the two per cent tax if the Queensland Labor party pushes ahead with a series of new taxes.

Industry slams Queensland Labor plan to add two per cent tax on high-end vehicles

27 Nov 2017

QUEENSLANDERS are likely to be hit with an extra tax on high-end vehicles, on top of the existing luxury car tax (LCT), with the Labor party all but certain to remain in power following the state election last weekend.

Announced late last week by Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt, the state government plans to add an extra two per cent, or $2 per $100, of dutiable value onto the transfer duty costs of new cars costing more than $100,000.

While the move – which has been slammed by the automotive industry – would typically capture models from premium automotive brands, it would also include some higher-grade upper-large SUVs popular in regional Queensland, including the Toyota LandCruiser Sahara.

Mr Pitt was quoted by Fairfax Media as saying that the car tax, which was announced with other new or increased property and gaming taxes, “was another measure that ensures those that can afford to contribute – those who are receiving a greater return from our growing economy – will make a fair contribution”.

“If you can afford a Maserati, a Porsche, a Lamborghini or a Ferrari you can contribute to this state and the investment of roads in Queensland,” he said.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) chief executive Tony Weber said that the tax announcement came as a surprise and that there was “no consultation with the FCAI nor its members on the detail of this announcement”.

“Governments seem to think of motor vehicles as the golden goose,” Mr Weber said in a statement. “The fact is motor vehicles are already heavily taxed in Australia. The imposition of GST, stamp duties, registration fees and the ongoing related taxes including fuel excise, are all hitting consumers hard.

“Depending on the vehicle, a consumer can also get hit with the federal government’s pernicious 33 per cent luxury car tax.

“This announcement compounds that problem even further because it will impose a tax on top of the federal government’s luxury car tax.”

The existing luxury car tax threshold applies to cars priced above $65,094 that consume more than 7.0 litres per 100km, and $75,526 for all other vehicles, at a rate of 33 per cent of the amount above the limit.

The LCT is a federal tax that was introduced 18 years ago to encourage buyers to purchase Australian-made cars and has been widely derided by automotive industry bodies and car-makers.

RACQ chief communications officer Paul Turner also slammed the planned tax in Queensland, saying that the motoring body was hoping the state government would scrap stamp duty altogether which he says raises $530 million in revenue.

“This announcement is disappointing and it’s a double tax hit on motorists who already pay a luxury car tax on these vehicles – we absolutely oppose it,” he said.

“Stamp duty is a tax taken from drivers that has no benefit to motorists – it’s not reinvested back into road or transport infrastructure. It’s a cash grab.

“Unfortunately, this policy will also discourage motorists from buying some of the safest and most environmentally friendly vehicles which are often priced over $100,000.”

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