Published on 01 Apr 12
by "AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM" JOURNAL ARTICLE
The Commonwealth has a long history of hectoring States about the inefficiencies of their taxes and the discussion at the October 2011 Tax Forum was another case of the Commonwealth again making its case for State tax reform. For States, this criticism of their taxes is understood but unhelpful, especially when the Commonwealth offers no substantive support to facilitate such reforms – as was the case at the Tax Forum.
This paper argues that the current stance by the Commonwealth is a break with the past and that it should adopt a facilitation role. While options available to the Commonwealth are many, and historical precedent is a sound guide, it should only adopt a facilitation role after most States have shown a readiness to map out and act upon an accepted fundamental tax reform pathway.
Professor Neil Warren works for Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales
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01 April 2012