Labor’s tax hike to slug farmers, families, businesses more

New and increased taxes and charges will slug all regional Victorians more from today, despite four lockdowns pushing farmers, families and small business to the brink of ruin.

Nearly 40 taxes and charges have risen or been introduced since Labor was elected in 2014, including increases to stamp duty on property, the Fire Services Property Levy (FSPL) and a 10 per cent jump in the cost of fines.

From next year, a new Windfall Gains Tax is expected to smash the regional property market by imposing a massive tax hike on new developments with a flow on effect that could price first home builders out of the market entirely.

Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan called out the tax grab, which comes as families, jobs and businesses are still recovering from lockdown and the uncertainty of COVID restrictions.

“It’s not the right time to dip into the back pocket of local families, farmers and young first home buyers but that’s exactly where these tax increases will be felt,” Ms Ryan said.

“Four lockdowns and 18 months of pandemic has seen too many people lose their job or close their business, but instead of giving them a hand up, Labor’s handing them a ballooning tax bill.

“Victoria was already the highest taxing state in the nation and from today, we’ll be slugged even more.”

The 10 per cent increase to Victorian Government penalty units will see fines for exceeding the speed limit by less than 10kmh rise from $207 to $227.

The $20,000 First Home Owner Grant was also axed as of June 30.

“We should be making it easier – not harder – for young people to get into the housing market,” Ms Ryan said.

“COVID restrictions have seen an exodus of people out of our capital cities.

“Regional communities are in prime position to benefit, but we need to make sure the right settings are in place to encourage people to choose to make country Victoria home.

“The Liberal Nationals’ plan to fast-track 50,000 new house lots to market will mean more people can build their dream first home and will free up rental properties.

“By contrast, Dan has no plan for Victorian families or small businesses except for taxing them more.”

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