COVID-19 has turned our economy on its head, and with that, the usual way of thinking about how to collect the taxation revenue required to have everything in society working well.
So, let’s think outside the box.
Everything should be on the table, no sacred cows.
My suggestion to the powers that be is to tax all religious institutions and clubs on their income, no concessions allowed, at a flat rate, the same as our GST, 10 percent.
Don’t forget, along with our dominant Christian religions, we do have some quite dubious ‘religious institutions’ and none of them pay tax.
Quite a few run lucrative businesses, tax free.
Churches do some wonderful work and provide support to those in need, but there are many that do not share their view of the world and they are not answerable or accountable to the people as a Government is, come election day.
The cost of addiction to our society at both a human level and to our economy far outweighs the small amount of largesse demanded by legislation from the clubs.
Our local RSL has just put forward a massive development application, largely housing, that will surround the club and will remove every playing field for all sports.
So, all of the teams that currently play there will have to be found other homes, either through Council playing fields or other codes sharing, if they are available.
No doubt, Council will have to find more places and expand their list of assets to be maintained.
Again, they are not accountable at the ballot box, they answer to their Board of Directors.
All income raised from clubs could go straight to the State Government to assist those addicted to gambling or alcohol.
This would serve a dual purpose of helping those who can’t help themselves and free up money that is currently paid on these services to be put towards public schools, hospitals and infrastructure.
In a similar vein, if the State Government intends to introduce a Land Tax to replace Stamp Duty when buying or selling property, make sure there are no exemptions for clubs or religious institutions.
These new, untapped, revenue streams should be explored as to environmental and community needs by the Government, as well as to ease the burden on the rest of the tax paying public and businesses.
Email, June 1
Susan Wynn, Mannering Park