New trucks sold into NSW have not been ruled out as exempt from increases in stamp duty by New South Wales Labor ahead of the state’s election on 23 March.
The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) criticised the plan likely to affect the 50,000 businesses it represents should commercial vehicles owners not be spared from a luxury tax on vehicles costing more than $100,000.
Trucking businesses concerned that stamp duty of $25,600 would affect their operations in which a new prime mover purchased for $350,000 would incur an additional cost of $9000 sought clarification by Labor leader Michael Daley even as he started to backtrack on the announcement today in the face of criticism from regional workers.
“Labor Leader Michael Daley has been unable to explain the tax, leaving the trucking industry in the dark,” said ATA councillor and Border Express director Jon Luff said.
Mr Luff said an increase in stamp duty on trucks would be disastrous for safety, the NSW economy and the environment.
“In urban areas like Western Sydney, we need more new, cleaner trucks, not less,” he said.
“New trucks must meet new, cleaner emission standards and are more fuel efficient. Compared to a truck purchased in 1996, a new truck purchased today emits 75 per cent less nitrogen oxide, 50 per cent less hydrocarbons and 92 per cent fewer particulates.
Mr Luff also said new trucks have the latest safety technologies.
“The Australian Government is rolling out stability control as a mandated technology for a range of new trucks and trailers, and new vehicles regularly come equipped with additional safety technologies like lane assist and adaptive cruise control,” he said.
Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park issued a statement citing that farm vehicles such as harvesters and tractors would be exempt under the policy this morning but conspicuously did not exempt trucks.
Regional workers in the crucial seats of Tweed, Lismore and Ballina were all expected to be affected by the proposed luxury tax.
According to Luff the 16,000 hardworking trucking businesses in New South Wales deserved answers.
“Trucks are critical to the NSW economy and slapping taxes on trucks only makes it harder for businesses to compete in a global economy,” he said.
“97 per cent of trucking companies are small businesses, based in regional towns and places like Western Sydney.”
“Trucks are not a luxury. They are a necessity, relied upon by every single Australian.”