Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Double taxation and WA miners wealth

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Who would have thought that the bosses of Rio Tinto and BHP could be so innocent. When they signed off on an agreement with the Rudd Labor government, they didn't expect that they would attempt to water down the terms of the agreement. Reading this latest news story by SMH, you could be forgiven for thinking they got what they deserved; but the problem is their decision impacted all miners, resulted in a Labor government, they undermined their own credibility, and they lead shareholders on a rollercoaster ride....admittedly with the help of the government.
Of course the issue is very similar to the issue between international governments, where you have double taxation agreements. It is more difficult in the case of state and federal interests because each wants taxing and fiscal powers, and each control the same jurisdiction....in different areas of course. Was it not the states which control mineral taxes? It was until labor developed the resource rent tax.
Governments competing to raise taxes? Its like a competition between a skunk and a raccoon. Isn't it time we had a new system of government - a meritocracy based on objectivity.

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