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The States and the GST - Demystifying Australian federal/state financial arrangements paper

Published on 01 Jan 07 by Australian Tax Research Foundation

While there is considerable debate in Australia about the role of the States and their relationship with the Commonwealth, in the Australian  community at large, and even among tax professionals, there is a widespread lack of understanding of the way in which the financial relations between the Commonwealth and the States are organised. As a result, there is a general inability to assess the criticisms being made of the 1999 Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) under which the current earmarking of GST revenue to the States has been agreed with the Commonwealth.

The objective of this publication is to assist in remedying this lack of understanding. It provides an explanation, in terms comprehensible to the intelligent layperson, of the workings of the system under the 1999 IGA, its financial implications, criticisms which have been made, and reform proposals. The publication attempts to take a balanced and neutral approach, rather than to recommend a particular package of reforms. Its intention is to inform, not to persuade.

Author profiles

Neil Warren
Neil is a Professor, School of Taxation & Business Law, UNSW Australia.
  • Current at 1 October 2016
  • - Current at 03 November 2016
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    David Collins
    David Collins was an Adjunct Professor in Economics, Macquarie University at the time of writing this paper. - Current at 23 October 2012


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