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Your views: on land tax and renaming Adelaide Airport

Reader contributions

Today, the land tax debate dividing Liberals continues, and readers also comment on whether the airport name should honour early aviators – and which ones.

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Commenting on the article: Land tax rebels tell Libs: “See you in court”

If aggregation operates in other states (and countries), where is the evidence in those regions that it mitigates against investment and brings on a recession?

Where is the empirical evidence from the objectors – real, hard, indisputable arithmetic – that proves their claims?

Is what is “inequitable” to the objectors in reality equitable for the majority of South Australians, and thus for the entire State’s benefit?

Is there anywhere concrete evidence of how productive and beneficial to the state are and have been these objectors, one and all?

 Seems to me a self-interested (do we blame ‘em?) minority is hell-bent on bullying a government.

Maybe that minority, as much as it may be comprised of people far more powerful than me or you, might reflect on the fact that unions attempting to push around governments and oppositions of their supposed preference became a magnet for public distaste and opposition to their stances.

Reflect on the fact that to bring about the demise of the parties which have favoured – and on balance continue to favour – their free-market principles, could stand every chance of whichever fills the power vacuum more than likely delivering even more bad news for them, with even greater ‘penalties’.

And reflect that Shorten’s ill-expressed, inaccurate excuse for the ALP-slaughtering in the recent federal fantasy competition, in referencing the “vested interests”, perhaps deliberately failed to honestly identify those vested interests [which are not Rupert & Co!], and which rightfully avoided him and his ilk like a mouse running from a cat, are me and millions of me: everyday, clear-thinking, plain-speaking Australians with little or no time for champions-of-self. That is a lesson in itself.

I’ve been for some time evaluating moving in the not-so-distant future permanently to SA, away from the Sydney Swill; and I’m still not put off. – Chris Miller

I would like to express my deepest concerns regarding the proposed land tax reforms that are currently under review within the Liberal Government of SA.

My young family and I, along with my business and employees will be in serious trouble if the aggregation process prevails, sending my current land tax of $7000 up to over $126,000 based on current valuations.

The revaluation process will add yet another sting to the proposed reforms.

This is simply not sustainable by any means on our part and will cause major despair across our small investment property portfolio, our tenants and my business, signalling financial concern for us and those that we employ.

All my effort, blood, sweat and tears over the past 20+ years doing small property developments for my family and others, keeping some along the way, employing 70+ people and generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in various taxes for the government may well disappear overnight.

I am serious. We will be forced to sell assets and close operations.

Cashflow is everything in business. No cash flow, no property or business. The proposed reforms will destroy cash flow leading to despair across SA.

We have done nothing wrong and have legally followed standard asset protection and estate planning protocols when establishing our business and investments, to assist in protecting ourselves.

As far as we are concerned, there is no loophole. We pay land tax across all of our property, of which some are aggregated.

We feel let down and disappointed that we are seen as “tax dodgers”.

In our property development business we have paid and are paying tens of thousands in property taxes annually, along with indirect taxes generated by us employing many in the property and building sectors.

We are a significant contributor to the SA community in many ways. We employ many people and pay stamp duty on purchases, GST on development purchases and sales and CGT on sales, plus many other levies and taxes on the process of creating new allotments and homes – taking on risk and substantial debt at times to complete each project.

In fact, a recent project of just two new affordable low-cost dwellings at West Lakes Shore has directly and indirectly contributed over $170,000 in taxes and levies.

This will stop with these changes and no more small residential developments providing quality affordable housing for those in need will be created.

We are already doing more than our fair share for the SA economy.

We also have with us a small parcel of friends doing similar projects here in SA that will be significantly impacted by these proposed changes. People’s lives will be devastated in SA.

The incentives to work and create, setting ourselves up for retirement are fast disappearing.

Why bother is a question I am now asking? I know that we are all asking the same question.

We – the small business entrepreneurs and the mum and dad investors in SA – should derive some benefit from creating homes and businesses for others, being financially independent enough to support ourselves and others without having to rely on welfare in our later years.

And this is how we are treated.

Steven and Rob need to completely rethink land tax. They both keep referring to the person(s) that have 7-10 or so properties in trusts that pay no land tax.

How about the approximately 90% of people with one investment property/business which is under the tax free threshold that pay no land tax?

This then leaves the remaining 10% to pay ridiculous amounts covering the entire land tax revenue stream due to the aggregation process and the high rates of land tax we endure here in SA.

This is discrimination.

But what is worse is that the land tax assessment is based on the valuation of land, without regard for the fact that most business and mum and dad investors have mortgages on these properties and many other expenses to cover, and in many cases the positive cash flow is insignificant compared to the aggregated land taxes amount.

The majority will not afford to sustain these increases.

Why not revise the land tax process by employing a flat fee of say $500 in land tax for each investment property or business property?

That way we all pay a fair and equitable amount, doing away with the tax free threshold and in doing so abolish the aggregation method which simply targets small business and mum and dad investors with 2 or more properties setting up for a self funded retirement.

Steven and Rob are forgetting that these people are providing the majority of stimulus to the SA economy. Remove aggregation and the tax free threshold and watch our state thrive.

Unfortunately, I believe Steven and Rob are taking a band-aid approach to their $2.1B GST short comings and are not truly realising the implications of their proposed changes.

In closing I am scared for my family, my employees and the welfare of our great state.

The proposed land tax reforms will significantly impact SA well into the future. The writing is on the wall. – James Turcinov

I’d like to comment on Sarah Hanson-Young’s statement on ABC news: “There is a loophole that is exploited, and if you’re rich enough to be able to have several properties and use that corporate loophole then you can pay less than the average home owner.”

 The average homeowner pays no land tax.

This land tax change is going to be so obviously damaging, and to have a politician make a comment that is so clearly uninformed and incorrect would be laughable if the situation wasn’t so serious.

It astounds me that this aggregation conversation has gone this far without being reversed.

Sarah Hanson-Young is a good example of the complete ignorance of the politicians trying to push these changes through. – Willem Arnoldus

Commenting on the story: Adelaide Airport considers call to rename after pioneering aviator

Although acknowledging Harry as a great aviator, I believe two other names rank above him; the Vickers Vimy pilots, Sir Ross Smith and his brother Sir Keith Smith.

This year is the centenary of their epic flight from the United Kingdom to Australia in 1919 and they won the race.

The Vickers Vimy aircraft G-EAOU has been on display at Adelaide Airport since 1958 and is one of the world’s most important aviation relics.

It is understood the aircraft will be moved closer to the terminal in the next few years for all passengers and visitors to see.

Let’s consider a rename of the airport to: ‘The Sirs Ross and Keith Smith Airport’ this year as part of the centenary celebrations. – Nigel Daw

Suggest naming Adelaide airport after Ross and Keith Smith, the earliest  pioneering aviators.

And place their Vickers Vimy on prominent display.

This year is the centenary of their great flight from UK to Australia.  

Capt Harry butler also should be given prominence as a  remarkable South Australian aviator. – Elizabeth Smith

‘Captain Harry Butler Adelaide Airport’ is unwieldy and it would quickly be abbreviated to ‘Harry Butler Airport’, which would invite confusion with the environmentalist of television fame, Harry Butler. 

Don’t change what isn’t broken – the current name tells us where it is and what it is. – B. Baddams

How ridiculous! Adelaide Airport is just fine. Leave as is.

Never heard of Harry Butler. I’m sure he was a fine man, but how will the rest of the world relate to the name. Joan Nelson

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