State government considers new $7 million a year tax for Bunbury and Peel

While Bunbury may be getting a new state government land tax, treasurer Ben Wyatt confirmed the money raised from it would be spent in Bunbury.

This comes after it was revealed last week that the McGowan Government was considering extending the Metropolitan Region Improvement Tax to the Peel and Bunbury regions.

The tax was put in place by the former Coalition Government with the money raised going towards roads and parks. 

In the 2015-16 budget forward estimates the government had extended the tax to Peel and Bunbury but it was not legislated.

Mr Wyatt said the land tax would only apply to residential and commercial investment properties with a value over $300,000.

However, the treasurer has put the blame back onto the opposition and said it was another “booby trap” by the Coalition Government.

“Like their efforts in leaving a black hole in the rescue helicopter funding, they have propped up their budgets without having the legislative basis to do so. It is an odd way to manage the finances,” he said.

“The Government must now decide whether it introduces Mike Nahan’s tax or if we remove it and find the money to cover the hole in other ways,” Mr Wyatt said.

“However should we proceed then any money raised in Bunbury would be spent in Bunbury.”

Bunbury MLA Don Punch said he would “strongly” oppose any tax being collected from his electorate and redistributed to the metropolitan area.

“Mr Nahan’s proposal to collect a tax from Bunbury land investors to contribute to the Metropolitan Region Improvement Fund is ridiculous and I will not support funds collected in Bunbury being paid into a Perth fund,” he said.

“I understand the concern this proposal is causing Bunbury land investors and I want to assure them will I be working to make sure the outcome of this issue is fair.

“I disagree with the Mike Nahan’s tax, but we need to follow the proper process to make sure we make the right decision when dealing with this hidden tax left by The Liberal National government.” City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said the government would need to look at the impact on if the tax would discourage or encourage investment.

“I wouldn’t support it at all if the money raised was to fund metropolitan projects but I doubt that is the government’s intention,” he said.