Dawesville MLA Zak Kirkup comes out swinging against ‘Mandurah Tax’

Dawesville MLA Zak Kirkup comes out swinging against ‘Mandurah Tax’

DAWESVILLE MLA Zak Kirkup has come out swinging against a little known tax that could be extended to Mandurah and the Peel region from the metropolitan area.
Treasurer Ben Wyatt is believed to be checking out extending the Metropolitan Region Improvement Tax in an effort to raise an extra $7 million a year.
The tax applies to residential investment and many commercial properties valued at $300,000 or more and is used to pay for public open spaces and land used for such items as roads.
Mr Kirkup said the State Government had picked a fight with the wrong community.
But State Treasurer Ben Wyatt claimed a tax that had been booked into the Budget three years ago by the Liberal Government could hardly be called a new tax.
Mr Kirkup said any attempt to expand what he described as the “Mandurah tax” would be a breach of Premier Mark McGowan’s election promise not to introduce any new taxes or increase existing taxes.
Increasing developer costs would in turn increase costs to homebuyers looking to get into the market in Mandurah and the Peel.
“Land sales in new developments are predominantly to first homebuyers and young families,’’ Mr Kirkup said.
“This would effectively be introduced to pay for Mr McGowan’s $5 billion of unfunded election promises in places like Ellenbrook and is completely unacceptable.”
However, Mr Wyatt claimed former Treasurer Mike Nahan had booby trapped the Budget in 2015-2016 when he booked the revenue for the expanded tax in the budget.
He said the decision for the Government now was to decide whether to scrap Mr Nahan’s tax on regional WA or remove it from the budget and deal with the loss of revenue.
Mr Wyatt said it was disturbing Mr Nahan had used the figures to prop up his budgets since 2015-16 since he had no legislative to do so.
It was also a little odd the Opposition claimed the tax would affect “homebuyers getting into the market” when they would surely know, as they created it three years ago, it only applied to investment properties and not principal places of residence.
“The Government will now follow a proper process to decide whether to implement Mike Nahan’s tax or deal with a hole in the Budget,’’ Mr Wyatt said.