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An evaluation of the case for a congestion tax in Australia


Traffic congestion has become a growing concern in most cities in Australia. A 2014 report by the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA)1 highlighted the need to implement a congestion charge in Perth. This article examines factors that cause congestion and alternative ways of dealing with congestion in Australia. Specifically, the article examines whether introducing a congestion tax could provide an effective means of resolving traffic congestion in Australian cities. Studies and results from other jurisdictions are examined in order to help inform the policies that Australia should adopt. It is submitted that an inquiry into congestion charges should include a wider investigation, including motor vehicle tax reform, city planning, redirection of revenues and a longer strategic plan.

The article also recognises that congestion charging, if implemented, may have other implications for which Australian cities may not be ready.

Author profiles:

Author Photo - Dale Pinto CTA-Life
Prof Dale Pinto CTA-Life
is currently Acting Dean of the Curtin Law School and is a Professor of Taxation Law and Head of the Taxation Department of the Curtin Law School at Curtin University. He is Vice-President of the Divisional Council of CPA Australia (WA Division) and is also a Fellow of CPA Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and is a Chartered Tax Adviser and Life Member of the Tax Institute. Dale is the author/co-author of numerous books, refereed articles and national and international conference papers, and is on the editorial board of a number of peer-reviewed journals as well as being the Editor-in-Chief of several refereed journals. Dale is the Chair of the Tax Institute's National Education Quality Assurance Board and is a member of TEQSA's Expert Panel in Accounting and Taxation. Dale served as an inaugural member of the National Tax Practitioners Board and is a current member of the Board of Taxation's Advisory Panel and the ATO's Tax Technical Panel (Superannuation), as well as the Tax Institute's Technical Committees (Superannuation, Not-for-Profit Organisations and Large Business and International). Current at 05 February 2016 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Dale PINTO.
Prafula Pearce CTA
Prafula is a lecturer at the Curtin Law School, Department of Business Law, Curtin University, where she has been lecturing since 1996, having previously worked 20 years in the tax profession in Australia and the United Kingdom. Her teaching and research interests are broadly in taxation law, including tax policy and corporations law. She has published widely in many areas of taxation, both nationally and internationally. Her current interest lies in environmental taxation relating to passenger motor vehicles and oil, the area of her PhD thesis entitled, Using tax and regulatory measures to reform choice and usage of motor vehicles for personal transportation in Australia for the sustainability of oil. Current at 01 April 2015 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Prafula Pearce.
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