The West Australian - - FRONT PAGE - EX­CLU­SIVE GARETH HUTCHENS Eco­nom­ics Ed­i­tor

Busi­ness lead­ers are call­ing on the McGowan Gov­ern­ment to slash pay­roll tax, es­ti­mat­ing the move would cre­ate an ex­tra 900 jobs Statewide within a year.

Michael Chaney, the former boss of Wes­farm­ers, said small busi­ness was strug­gling with the tax and it was damp­en­ing the economy.

Trea­surer Ben Wy­att con­ceded the tax was un­pop­u­lar.

Pay­roll tax is al­ways in the back of the mind of Skindeep Medi-Spas founder He­len Golisano, who de­scribes the mea­sure as a “pun­ish­ment for em­ploy­ing peo­ple”.

With 26 staff on the books across four spas in Perth, she — like many busi­ness own­ers — is on the look­out for ways not to get stung by too much tax. Mrs Golisano said the tax was an­ti­quated and a WA Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try pitch for the thresh­old to be raised from $850,000 to $950,000 should hap­pen as the min­i­mum level of re­form.

“Our wages have gone up sig­nif­i­cantly in the last five years in our in­dus­try but the pay­roll tax thresh­old hasn’t,” she said. “(The thresh­old has) got to go up, it has to go up.”

The pres­sure of pay­roll tax was a fac­tor in Mrs Golisano sell­ing off the li­cence for one of her shopfronts last year.

“It helped drop us down sig­nif­i­cantly,” she said. “It’s al­ways in the back of my mind.” An­other way of keep­ing on more staff has been the op­por­tu­nity for Mrs Golisano to off­set tax pay­ments by train­ing and up­skilling her em­ploy­ees. The train­ing provider she works with, how­ever, told her last week the ex­emp­tion was be­ing re­moved from July 1.

Pic­ture: Michael Wil­son

Em­ployee Sari Golisano.

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