‘Gift tax’ hits solar plans
A “gift tax” on the installation of solar panels continues to frustrate an umbrella organisation for local government in the region.
Speaking after yesterday’s meeting in Esperance, Goldfields Voluntary Regional Organisation of Councils chairman Mal Cullen said putting solar systems on local government-owned buildings remained a priority this year.
Councils in Coolgardie, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Leonora, Menzies and Ravensthorpe have all expressed interest.
But Horizon Power has indi- cated it would be liable for a large tax impost for “gifted assets”, an issue GVROC has been negotiating with the State Government.
Mr Cullen said these negotiations had significantly delayed the project and GVROC recently learnt the Government would not waive the tax in relation to the solar power facilities.
“We got a couple of million dollars worth of funding some time ago, but there has been a few hiccups with this so-called gift tax that power companies are saying applies to these assets,” he said.
“That’s one of the issues that we’ve been trying to fight with the State Government — to have that concession to take the gift tax off because it’s quite a lot of money.
“But at the moment, we’re not having much luck — the State Treasurer (Mike Nahan) has written back saying they’re not prepared to drop that tax.
“We’re hoping that that’s not going to interfere with the installation of some of these facilities in the region.”
The installation of solar panels in some of the smaller Shires would mimic systems at City of Kalgoorlie-Boulderowned buildings, including those at the administration building and the Goldfields Oasis Recreation Centre.
The Shire of Coolgardie is also installing a 150KW system on the recreation centre in Kambalda.
Mr Cullen said GVROC was hoping for some assistance from the Federal Government.