Racing NSW wins certainty for tax parity via legislation   Leave a comment

Racing NSW wins certainty for tax parity via legislation

July 12, 2015 – 10:32PM

Racing NSW has won further concessions from Racing Minister Troy Grant in its ongoing battle to get what it considers to be a workable model for tax parity with Victoria.

The state budget revealed the government’s commitment to parity but the racing industry is concerned that was no legislation was attached to the announcement. Also, the power to distribute the additional funds made available through parity would rest with the racing minister rather than the industry.

The Racing NSW board wrote to Grant last week stating it found it difficult to implement long-term strategies due to the “year-by-year proposition subject to the economic circumstances and political vagaries which exist from time to time”. In short, the letter said, there were no guarantees for funding or that tax parity would be delivered other than a small box in the budget statement.

“We … note that the budget papers indicate that it is not intended that the tax reductions be implemented by way of legislation as has been the case in all other states, in particular Victoria and Queensland,” the letter read.

“We cannot stress more strongly the need for the tax reductions and associated payments to the racing industry to be embedded in the relevant legislation so that Racing NSW can adhere to best-practice corporate governance principles.

“Without the funding guarantees that come from legislation, it would be commercially irresponsible for Racing NSW to enter into any of the future financial commitments outlined in our strategic plan.

“Therefore, under these conditions Racing NSW would be unable to properly manage the thoroughbred racing industry in accordance with its statutory obligations as it cannot enter into any new initiatives which require funding in order to invigorate the industry and keep it viable.”

Racing NSW chairman John Messara told Fairfax Media that the need for structural change, as well as an increaser in prizemoney, had been driven home to him at the Grafton Cup meeting last week.

“Nearly every trainer you talk to is saying we need help and without tax parity we cannot implement our strategic plan were we have detailed our plan for the future,” Messara said. “We need certainty and the minister understands that.”

Grant responded to the letter by stating he would take the preferred model for tax parity to cabinet in September and reassured Racing NSW that  he wanted to “ensure NSW becomes the premier racing state”.

“What is clear already is that the industry’s preferred mechanism to achieve parity and long-term certainty is for the government to amend the Betting Tax Act 2001 and the Totalizator Act 1997,” he wrote.

“I have previously expressed my concerns in making changes to the act prior to the finalisation of the Special Commission of Inquiry into Greyhounds. However, the submission provided by Racing NSW to me clearly provides a mechanism to effect the tax change in the legislation and still hold the greyhound share of the tax break in trust until finalisation of the inquiry.”

Fairfax Media understands the model for the distribution of the extra funds from tax parity would be made on current turnover figures for the three codes of racing.

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Posted July 13, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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