Taxing time for our grey nomads
BUNDABERG has invested in becoming a motorhome-friendly town, but the introduction of a new state tax has businessman Ben Searle fearing the worst - and he's not the only one.
From July 1, under the new luxury car tax, any new or second-hand car sold for more than $100,000 in Queensland will attract a 2 per cent stamp duty fee, adding at least $2000 to the cost.
Local farmers and trade workers will be slugged too, with the tax applying to new Toyota LandCruiser and Nissan Patrol vehicles commonly used on the land.
The tax is projected to bolster budget coffers by $103 million over the next four years and comes on top of a 33 per cent Federal Government luxury car tax, which applies to vehicles over $65,000.
But rather than hitting the hip pocket of luxury brand buyers, the LCT generates 80 per cent of its revenue from Toyota LandCruisers.
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett has slammed the decision, which he says will unfairly impact grey nomads.
Mr Bennett said the hike would have a devastating impact on local motorhome and campervan businesses such as Searle's RV Centre.
"The Labor Government's absurd vehicle tax will add thousands of dollars to the cost of a caravan or motorhome, making them far less affordable to most people, particularly retirees who make up the majority of the motorhome market,” he said.
"Not only will businesses like Searle's RV Centre suffer, but it's going to have an impact on drive tourism across the state, particularly in regional areas like Bundaberg.”
The Burnett MP said the tax had been rammed through without proper consultation or consideration.
"The caravan, motorhome and camper trailer industry has not been consulted on this massive hike - the government has gone ahead and made a decision to slap an additional 2 per cent duty on these vehicles.”
Mr Searle was equally angered.
"Bundaberg has invested heavily to encourage motorhome owners to visit our town,” Mr Searle said.
"Last year we hosted the annual CMCA Rally where we had over 1000 RVs come to Bundaberg, and we are hosting the Avida RV Club in July, as well as investing in an RV stop-over facility that has only recently opened.”
Mr Searle said he felt it was necessary to take a stand for his customers.
"This won't just affect new motorhomes but also second-hand units,” he said.
"The tax was to target the luxury car buyer but by way of definition the motorhome market is now tangled up in this mess.
"Motorhomes, to my customers, are not a luxury item, they are their homes and should not be penalised as such.”
RACQ spokesman Paul Turner said the State Government could not keep using motorists as "cash cows”.
"The extra fees come on top of the 3.5 per cent rego and licence increase in this year's Budget,” he said.
"Over the last four years, we've seen these transport fees and charges rise by almost 15 per cent, more than double the inflation rate.”