Monday, March 16, 2015

No Land Tax paying to push how to vote cards

A Brown Couch reader alerts us to No Land Tax's latest campaign ploy: offering to pay people to push its how to vote cards on election day.

No Land Tax is paying pushers $330 for ten hours work on election day, with bonuses on offer if candidates get over certain proportions of the vote for a booth.

The pushers are being recruited through a website that does not include any campaign banners, logos or materials, and that only identifies No Land Tax in the 'authorised by' print at the bottom of the page.

Paying bonuses for votes is a real worry. In any case, it appears a lot of money is being spent trying to get No Land Tax elected. 


So why are the property owners behind No Land Tax spending so much money on their election campaign if, as they claim, they just pass on the cost of land tax to tenants, in the form of higher rents?

It's because they cannot really pass it on. That's why they campaign against it.

It's not just No Land Tax who claims that land tax gets passed on to others. The Real Estate Institute of NSW, which is also against land tax, says so too. As REI President Malcolm Gunning recently said:

"If you are wondering why your coffee has increased in price, or your restaurant bill is more expensive, don't point the finger at the owner," Mr Gunning said....
"Let there be no mistake, the people who pay land tax are not the landlord, are not the tenant, but are NSW consumers paying increased prices for their coffee and other consumables."

Let there be no mistake: this is bull.

The fact is that land tax comes out of the land owner's pocket. It really cannot be passed on to tenants and other consumers.

This is because land tax must be paid every year, regardless of whether the property is let or not. This encourages landlords to let the property (because they've got a land tax bill to pay) and to meet the market. If they try instead to hold out for a higher rent, that's so much longer the premises won't be let and rent not paid – and all the while the land tax liability accrues.

Contrast the Goods and Services Tax, which can be – and is – passed on to consumers. This is because GST must be paid only when a sale is finally made. This means vendors can hold out for a higher price that passes on the cost of the tax – the GST takes no skin off their nose while they hold out.

Note that both No Land Tax and the REI support extending the GST. So much for their concern about consumers and what they pay for coffee or meals – or housing.

No Land Tax and the REI claim they are passing land tax onto you precisely because they cannot really pass it onto you.

They say they pass it on in order to get you angry about land tax – angry enough to harangue your MP about it and to support their own campaigns to abolish it. These campaigns are waged for their own vested interests – not yours.

We suggest you get angry instead about their attempts to dupe you, and that you tell your MP and other candidates that you support taking action against housing speculation. Tell them that you support a reformed land tax.       


  1. So handing out how to vote information will actually pay better then working at the poll on Election Day, looks like I put my hand up for the wrong job didn't I! Wonder if it carries second job tax or not.

  2. Ah, but think of the cost to your self-respect, Anon – not to mention the potential damage to housing affordability, economic productivity and social justice...

  3. We haven't actually even been paid yet. ... so don't get too upset. Contact numbers not working, no reply to emails leading up to election regarding instruction etc.

  4. Hi Anon (at 11.25)

    We take no joy in people not being paid as promised. We note that there a facebook group for people in your situation - may be worth a look.

    We hope you get your money and give them what-for.


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