Latest lesson in tax policy comes to us from the Land Down Under

dogtowner

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And its the same lesson that always occurs

raising taxes does not = rising revenue


For the latest tutorial on lousy tax policy, cast your eyes down—way down—to Australia, where the country's windfall mining tax has produced a gusher of . . . zero revenue in its first three months.
Julia Gillard's Labor-led government projected that its "minerals resource rent tax" on large iron-ore and coal companies (effective rate: 22.5%) would raise 10.6 billion Australian dollars over three years and allow Canberra to redistribute the gains of the country's China-fueled mining boom. The money was also supposed to help dig Australia out of a budget deficit that Ms. Gillard and her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, created through a spending spree.

When questioned in March about the wisdom of such a levy as China's growth was slowing, Ms. Gillard responded, "as a nation we're going to be earning a lot out of our mineral wealth. The question is should we share it or should we give it to a privileged few?" This is the kind of crack economics that kept Australia in the league of poor democracies until the Labor Party moved to the center and liberalized trade and investment in the 1980s and 1990s.

Now the economy is decelerating, mining company profits are declining, investment is going elsewhere, and there's less revenue for Canberra to seize. Ms. Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan are walking back their revenue projections and may have trouble balancing the federal government books.
This is what happens when government tries to raid business to fill a budget hole, rather than lower taxes to promote economic growth and rake in more revenue the easy way.
 
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Aus22

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And its the same lesson that always occurs

raising taxes does not = rising revenue
Dogtower, The position on the Mining tax is that due to our hung Parliament, the mining tax was set so low based on profits that in the first quarter there was no income. It is hope there will be income in later quarters. Mining is still booming here and the Australian labor government wants to share the wealth and introduce a surplus.
 

dogtowner

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Dogtower, The position on the Mining tax is that due to our hung Parliament, the mining tax was set so low based on profits that in the first quarter there was no income. It is hope there will be income in later quarters. Mining is still booming here and the Australian labor government wants to share the wealth and introduce a surplus.

I appreciate that what you say is believed to be true by many there. Its just that the outcome you are seeing is not unusual. Wealth taxes just do not deliver and especially in a cooling Chinese economy. Your chance to make money was in selling the mineral rights assuming the lands were not privately held or that ownership was considered below and above the surface of the earth.
 

Aus22

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Most Miners have mining leases. They do not own the land but make money mining our minerals. Most are partly foreign owned .
 

dogtowner

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Most Miners have mining leases. They do not own the land but make money mining our minerals. Most are partly foreign owned .

OK so yo already made your money selling mineral rights and now you want more ? You really think they will part with it ?
 

Aus22

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dogtower, the proceeds of granting leases for mining mainly go to the State governments. This means the two mining states Western Australia and Queensland get most of the royalties. These are the least populated states. The Federal government gets its income from tax. It wants to tax the super profits of the largest mining companies. The companies agree to this perhaps knowing that there will be little income at first. The federal Labor government wants to get this income and distributed it to the more populated states. This way the boom can be spread to all Australians. As the profit are still very high it should still earn higher tax revenue in the future. China is still bombing even at a slower rate than before and is buying our minerals
 

dogtowner

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dogtower, the proceeds of granting leases for mining mainly go to the State governments. This means the two mining states Western Australia and Queensland get most of the royalties. These are the least populated states. The Federal government gets its income from tax. It wants to tax the super profits of the largest mining companies. The companies agree to this perhaps knowing that there will be little income at first. The federal Labor government wants to get this income and distributed it to the more populated states. This way the boom can be spread to all Australians. As the profit are still very high it should still earn higher tax revenue in the future. China is still bombing even at a slower rate than before and is buying our minerals

Super profits ? Only the largest ? they agree because they can make whatever a superprofit be whatever they wish.

Sounds like a perfectly insane system you have there.

So the central government wants more money (what a shock). Why not tax business, all business at a rate more suitable ? Would this not be the fair way to do it ?
 

Dr.Who

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dogtower, the proceeds of granting leases for mining mainly go to the State governments. This means the two mining states Western Australia and Queensland get most of the royalties. These are the least populated states. The Federal government gets its income from tax. It wants to tax the super profits of the largest mining companies. The companies agree to this perhaps knowing that there will be little income at first. The federal Labor government wants to get this income and distributed it to the more populated states. This way the boom can be spread to all Australians. As the profit are still very high it should still earn higher tax revenue in the future. China is still bombing even at a slower rate than before and is buying our minerals


superprofits = Gov-speak for "don't worry we won't tax you, only the really rich guys." Here in the states that line was given when income taxes were proposed. Then income taxes were extended to tax a larger number of people. But any sane person would ask themselves how fair it is to create a law intended to only effect some people.

Largest companies = what about the simply large companies? how fair is it to tax only the really big ones and not tax the others? An alternative explanation for why the really large companies go for this is that the taxes and regulations that are put into effect limit competition from the large or small companies while permitting the super large ones to continue operating. An example here would be the cost of a taxi license in NY. It costs thousands of dollars to get a taxi license so a small time operator who only has one cab cannot afford to get the license but the company with 500 cabs writes it off as a business expense.
 

Aus22

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Super profits ? Only the largest ? they agree because they can make whatever a superprofit be whatever they wish.

Sounds like a perfectly insane system you have there.

So the central government wants more money (what a shock). Why not tax business, all business at a rate more suitable ? Would this not be the fair way to do it ?
Dogtower , In fact the Central Government promise a 1% cut in company tax. This also involved an agreement between the government and the companies. No such an agreement was reach so there may be no reduction. This is the problem with a hung parliament. Neither of the large parties has an absolute majority in parliament. The Labor government rely of the support of the Greens and some independents to get legislation pass. Even then they have only a one seat majority. The opposition can just promise tax cuts and less spending without explaining how they will do it. I think the USA might enter into a similar problem after the next election. If no major parties can a majority in both houses , government will be difficult
Dr Who we have a progressive system of taxation here. The miners get many concessions. They profits are ten times higher than any other company .
They also prevent competition from smaller companies.
 

dogtowner

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Dogtower , In fact the Central Government promise a 1% cut in company tax. This also involved an agreement between the government and the companies. No such an agreement was reach so there may be no reduction. This is the problem with a hung parliament. Neither of the large parties has an absolute majority in parliament. The Labor government rely of the support of the Greens and some independents to get legislation pass. Even then they have only a one seat majority. The opposition can just promise tax cuts and less spending without explaining how they will do it. I think the USA might enter into a similar problem after the next election. If no major parties can a majority in both houses , government will be difficult
Dr Who we have a progressive system of taxation here. The miners get many concessions. They profits are ten times higher than any other company .
They also prevent competition from smaller companies.

and how is it that they keep the small small ? govt concessions. which is to say your government is bought and paid for by these guys.

you really need to simplify (we do as well) so that your government can do the little that is asked of it.
 

Aus22

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and how is it that they keep the small small ? govt concessions. which is to say your government is bought and paid for by these guys.

you really need to simplify (we do as well) so that your government can do the little that is asked of it.
One of the Problem in comparing different countries Politics is that we are not the same. While we have a Conservative Party that wants to reduce some taxes and spending we have nothing like Romney or the Tea Parties policies of reducing governments to do little. Both parties in Australia want more government spending in certain areas. The Conservative want a Maternity Leave scheme that compensates Mothers who are for several months out of the work force with their real wages. This will be party paid for by business. Labor has a lesser spending model where only basic wages will be paid. However it still wants mining taxes and a carbon tax. I do not think any of these policies will ever be passed in the USA but they are common in Europe.

Johnny Tremain at least on the the issue of Afghanistan and our soldiers both major parties support them.
 

dogtowner

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One of the Problem in comparing different countries Politics is that we are not the same. While we have a Conservative Party that wants to reduce some taxes and spending we have nothing like Romney or the Tea Parties policies of reducing governments to do little. Both parties in Australia want more government spending in certain areas. The Conservative want a Maternity Leave scheme that compensates Mothers who are for several months out of the work force with their real wages. This will be party paid for by business. Labor has a lesser spending model where only basic wages will be paid. However it still wants mining taxes and a carbon tax. I do not think any of these policies will ever be passed in the USA but they are common in Europe.

Johnny Tremain at least on the the issue of Afghanistan and our soldiers both major parties support them.

our businesses arramge for maternity leave here. not govt's job.
 

Aus22

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Dogtower. How does business arrange for maternity leave. Unless it is made compulsory by Government it will not apply in most companies.
 
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dogtowner

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Dogtower. How does business arrange for maternity leave. Unless it is made compulsory by Government it will not apply in most companies.

they just offer it. may come in a variety of sets of terms but the point is that they see it as worth the expense to retain valued employees. it is possible that the government does not need to coerce. what the government made mandatory is that you cannot fire someone for maternity or other sorts of family (male or female) related leave. I'll just say that it does apply in most companies though I doubt you will believe it.
 
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