Sunday, March 15, 2015

No Land Tax to ride donkey vote?

No Land Tax has nabbed first position on the ballot sheet – and thus the prospect of picking up the donkey vote – for the upper house in the NSW State election. This is fitting, as the party is devoted to free rides for land owners.

Considering that it faked photos of party members on its website, No Land Tax has also done well to find a candidate for every lower house seat.

Mind you, about 70 per cent of No Land Tax candidates don't actually live in the electorates they are contesting.

Nearly all of them comes from Sydney – and many come from a few big property families.
For example, James Ruben is Party President and number 4 on No Land Tax's upper house ticket; his mother, Susanne Gervay, is standing for No Land Tax in the seat of Vaucluse, and no fewer than four other members of the Ruben-Gervay families are candidates for No Land Tax. No fewer than five members of the Cacciotti family are standing for election for No Land Tax, in seats as far afield from their ancestral home in Balmain as Cootamundra. Similarly, the Lopreiato family is fielding no fewer than five candidates, the Di Cosmo family no fewer than four, the Arduca family no fewer than three, and the Marra family no fewer than three.

Going by surnames, it appears that about 40 per cent of No Land Tax candidates are related to at least one other No Land Tax candidate.


Let's look at some more land tax numbers – this time from No Land Tax's campaign website.

We've previously discussed Land Tax's claims about the basic economic effects of land tax (they're wrong – land tax promotes productive investment and economic growth) and housing affordability (they're wrong – land tax makes housing more affordable). This time we'll look at their claims about land tax revenues.

No Land Tax says:
Every year Land Tax goes up.
Next year it will increase by 4.7%.
Over the next 4 years it will increase by a whopping 20%.
These figures are... quite correct (they're consistent with the forward estimates in the NSW State Budget papers). What's missing is the context.

As the Budget papers also show, total State taxes next year will increase by 5.6 per cent, and over the next four years will increase by a 'whopping' 23 per cent.

So on present settings, land tax payers will be getting off more lightly over the next four years, relative to other taxpayers.

We say, of course, that land tax should be doing more of the lifting, not less – particularly through reforms that broaden the base to include land used for owner-occupation and primary industry, and change the rate structure. These reforms would also discourage speculation and make housing more affordable and secure.

No Land Tax, on the other hand, say that property owners should be relieved of paying even a small bit of the value that accrues, unearned, to them – and that everyone else should pay more GST instead.

You really would be a donkey if you voted for that.


  1. Btw, they're offering $30 an hour to hand out their how to vote cards. . plus bonus if they do well at your booth. Pretty serious about getting in.

  2. Thanks Anon

    Money is no object for them, is it.


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