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Victoria and NT serve up appetiser for the Federal budget

Victoria and NT State budgets

Gary Chiert and Dorian Beaver discuss highlights from Victoria and NT State Budgets.


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Victoria and the Northern Territory (NT) released their State budgets last week. With an absence of major announcements, these budgets are at best an appetiser for this evening’s main course.

Noteworthy announcements include:

Northern Territory

  • The NT will move to a hybrid royalty scheme: From 1 July 2019, miners will pay royalties based on the greater of the current profit based scheme and a fixed percentage of the gross value of the miner’s production. Small mines with a gross production value of less than $500,000 are excluded.
  • Following Victoria’s lead, a levy will be imposed on derelict or vacant land in the Darwin Central Business District (CBD) from 1 July 2019. The levy will be 1 percent of the unimproved capital value for buildings that are more than 50 percent vacant (based on either vacant space or time vacant) and 2 percent for undeveloped vacant land, based on the previous 12 months.
  • The stamp duty exemption for the transfer of petroleum and gas pipeline leases and licenses will be removed, although the date of this change is not specified.

Both jurisdictions

Both jurisdictions have tinkered around the edges of their payroll tax rules to increase or modify incentives.

  • In Victoria, the payroll tax rate for employees with 85 percent of their Victorian wages paid to regional workers have been further reduced and is now half the headline rate.
  • In the NT, there is a two year exemption for payroll tax on wages paid to new Territory resident workers which either increase the employer’s number of workers or replace a non-resident worker. Similar adjustments have been made to the deductions allowed against royalty revenues, to ensure that the incentives are focused on encouraging local employment in preference to interstate fly in fly out workers.

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