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The enews of Prosper & Earthsharing Australia
JULY 2015

Arthur John Picton


Change is Coming

Are the winds of change finally blowing our way? Alan Kohler dropped by for a visit, we've had two more top level government meetings, tax reform is part of the nation's daily conversationUber's been given a greenlight at the taxi industry's expense… It's been 124 years in the making but it finally feels like meaningful reform is a matter of when, rather than if. 

You can bet rent-seekers like the property council will keep trying to get on the front foot – like with the ACIL Allen Consulting report. Its claims were swiftly dismissed as misinformation. Send them an email in protest at this cash-for-comments type report.

But then NSW Premier Mike Baird sideswipes the momentum with his push to increase the GST! The Premiers are meeting with Tony Abbott this very minute to discuss the future revenue raising plans with the 2018 state grant cutbacks from the Feds pressuring change. Send Daniel Andrews and Annastacia Palaszczuk a tweet, or call their offices opposing this.

If on twitter please send:
@DanielAndrewsMP stand firm – dont fold for an increase in #GST. Better alternatives address housing, intergen inequity, small biz #springst

Anything will help hold off this disastrous development for equity and opportunity. If these Premiers hold firm then the pressure will revert to Abbott. We have 2 days to make some noise!

We really need our supporters to get on board and help us keep the momentum up. Start by keeping an eye on the comments section of the news and help us defend against the misinformation the property lobby will be shouting out. Feedback from an SA government spokesman was that there wasn't enough public psupport to warrant the replacement of Stamp Duty by Land Taxes on the family home in the recent South Australian Tax Inquiry findings.

Please donate to PARI to help develop our resources. We have 1/15th of the staffing of the Australia Institute, let alone the Grattan/ IPA/ REIV/ HIA/ PCA or CIS.



Grattan proposes property levy

The Grattan Institute has released a high level paper on Property Taxes. They proposed a levy of just $2 for every $1000 of unimproved land value. This would raise $7 billion a year: 

Current attention is focussed on the worsening Commonwealth deficit, but states and territories have a looming funding gap, and have provided little insight into how they are going to fill it. A broad-based property levy calculated from the council rates base would be the best revenue measure to fill that gap.

While property taxes can be unpopular because they are highly visible and hard to avoid, they are also efficient and fair, and don’t change incentives to work, save and invest. Unlike capital, property is immobile – it cannot shift offshore to avoid taxes. 

The report was co-authored by former World Bank and Treasury Economist Brendan Coates – he joined Karl for the 400th editition of Renegade Economists radio to discuss equitable and efficient revenue raising. Geeks aren't we?!! David Collyer also shares his insights on the report here.

Glenn Halog


Stiglitz – It's time to get radical on inequality 

The latest video with Professor Joseph Stiglitz is an absolute cracker – a must watch. He doesn't mince words when it comes to the causes of inequality – monopoly rents and capital gains on land are firmly in the firing line. 

Take-away message: tinkering at the margins isn't going to be enough – we need radical, all-encompassing reform if we are going to tackle inequality in our time. 


Mick Stanic


Rounding Off

These cold winter nights are perfect for catching up on your viewing of our documentary Real Estate 4 Ransom – voted one of the top 100 documentaries for change. After you've watched (or re-watched!) RE4R have a laugh at at our Treasurer's expense, at this year long battle between a graffiti artist and the council and at the grave result of the land bubble… 

Warwick Smith wrote another key piece in The Conversation on Four Tax Policies Austraian House Prices rest on:

To say that taxation has a profound effect on investment decisions is to make a gross understatement. In Australia, real estate is very favourably taxed. This results in a skew towards real estate investment that lifts prices. Most investment is in existing housing stock – proof that the resulting impact on supply is minimal.

If you've been following the story in Greece over the last few weeks, have a read of Michael Hudson's article on how the banksters have positioned themselves to undermine sovereignty. He's written a whole series of insightful posts on the current situation which are all worth a read. 

We'll be spending the next week focused on our next round of meetings, then Karl heads off to Detroit to present the Total Resource Rents of Australia to an international audience at the Council of Georgist Organisations conference. He will also be in SF and NY raising resources and pushing for greater coordination of our scarce resources.

There's alot of hard work to come if we are going to capitalise on this current wave of energy – you can help support our work by joining or donating.

Stay in touch by joining us on Twitter (@earthsharing & @dontbuynow) and Facebook (ES & DBN).


Jess Wright
Office Manager

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