Hope for better cut

Brian Hunt became one of the first business owners affected by a change to land tax law.
Brian Hunt became one of the first business owners affected by a change to land tax law.

However, a review of land tax exemption requirements for primary producers is on its way, along with a collective sigh of relief from grape and olive growers who also make wine or oil on their properties.

The cumbersome land tax ruled that landowners who grew primary produce and then processed it on the same property were no longer classed as viticulture, but ‘viniculture’.

In simple terms, growers who turned their produce into another product then sold it through their property were no longer exempt from the primary producer land tax.

Entopia Wines, a four-hectare winery in Baskerville, was one of the first businesses to have their tax exemption removed.

Owner Brian Hunt said he was charged about $6000 for the land tax on his small vineyard.

‘I could’ve avoided the tax by setting up two separate companies: one that would grow the grapes and then sell it to a second company that would make the wine,’ he said.

‘We’re hoping they will resort back to the status quo where the land area that is used for agriculture is exempt from the land tax; in my case that would be 80 per cent of my property.

Local growers are encouraged to contribute to the tax review during June and July so draft legislation can be introduced to State Parliament later this year. State Treasurer Mike Nahan said a review of land tax exemption for primary production would seek to modernise and simplify the exemption.

To contribute to the consultation, email primaryproductionreview@treasury.wa.gov.au.