QUES­TIONS ON COUN­CIL RATES

Kwinana Courier - - Opinion -

NOW it is clear that the Aus­tralian Con­sti­tu­tion is be­ing ad­hered to by con­firm­ing that a sub­ject or cit­i­zen of a for­eign power can­not sit in Par­lia­ment, isn't it time to ad­dress other is­sues?

In an­other sec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion it clearly states that the state shall not, with­out the con­sent of Par­lia­ment, im­pose any tax on prop­erty.

Isn't the term 'rates' a com­plete mis­nomer? 'Tax’ is surely the cor­rect ter­mi­nol­ogy.

As I have men­tioned be­fore, John Howard, Peter Costello and Michael Car­mody are quoted as say­ing – be­fore the ad­vent of the Goods and Ser­vices Tax – that “lo­cal coun­cil rates will at­tract no GST be­cause coun­cil rates are a tax and we can­not tax a tax.”

Ad­di­tional pe­rusal of the Con­sti­tu­tion af­firms that “the Par­lia­ment of the states do not have the power of tax­a­tion, only the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment can en­force tax­a­tion.”

Lastly, the Trades Prac­tices Act of 1974 states that” “A cor­po­ra­tion shall not use phys­i­cal force or un­due ha­rass­ment or co­er­cion with the sup­ply or pos­si­ble sup­ply of goods or ser­vices to a con­sumer or the pay­ment for goods and ser­vices by a con­sumer.”

Does this mean that coun­cil can­not force prop­erty own­ers to pay the ever-in­creas­ing lo­cal taxes? DAVID RUDMAN, Port Kennedy

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