‘Gift tax’ hits so­lar plans

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - An­drew Bros­nan

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.

Mal Cullen

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