Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey.
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey. Mike Knott BUN200219JACK2

Plan could give you a huge tax cut just for being in Bundy

DO YOU want more money in your hip pocket just because you live in the Bundaberg region?

Not really a tough question to answer is it?

This week Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey outlined his case as to why the region should be considered for a raft of tax concessions, with combating the unemployment rate and overcoming social and economic challenges, topping the list.

Cr Dempsey raised the proposal for a trial of remote-area tax concessions for the region in a submission to the Productivity Commission Review of Remote Area Tax Concessions and Payments.

A review of remote tax assistance measures to ensure they remain fair and contemporary is underway, with the definition of remote Australia largely based on arrangements established as far back as 1945.

"Our submission seeks that the review recommends similar concessions and allowances available in remote Australia be trialled in the Bundaberg Regional Council area,” Cr Dempsey said.

"With the highest recorded unemployment rate in Australia, the relative social and economic challenges facing our region are higher than any region covering remote parts of Australia. New tax concessions and allowances would help address this this issue.

"The Australian Government's Cashless Debit Card trial in our region requires further policies, such as new tax allowances and concessions, to effectively support disadvantaged Australians living in our region.

"The wider Bundaberg region is also home to one of Australia's most abundant agricultural food bowls, with over one quarter of the state's agricultural workforce employed in our region.”

Cr Dempsey said the region's agricultural sector had potential to better position Australia's role in feeding Asia in coming decades.

"Similarly, the trialling of new agricultural tax concessions and allowances in our region could leverage this potential, creating thousands of new jobs that will help address local unemployment,” he said.

Just how much the concessions would benefit Bundaberg taxpayers depends on individual circumstances, however the LGAQ has made a submission suggesting residents in the Wide Bay Burnett be eligible for Zone Tax Offset and related remote area living incentives.

Those include increasing the Zone Tax Allowance to a per annum amount that provides a stronger incentive, such as $10,000.

The Productivity Commission is due to provide a draft report in August.

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