The Road Ahead : October November 2008
features taxes Car owners are big contributors to government tax coffers. STORY BARRY GREEN STORY S GREEN usan is a university student, working part-time to help pay her way. Down the road live the Smiths, a young couple with two children, struggling with a mortgage. Around the corner, there’s tradesman Mike. Susan bought her small, four-cylinder sedan for $20,000 and the Smiths a family-sized, six-cylinder wagon for $40,000. Mike paid $50,000 for a V8 ute, a daily workhorse that doubles as his weekend ‘driver’. Susan’s car uses 7 litres of unleaded petrol per 100 km, the Smiths’ wagon 11 and Mike’s heavy-duty ute 14. They travel 10,000, 15,000 and 25,000 km a year respectively, due to their personal circumstances. While their vehicles and driving habits vary, they all contribute signifi cantly to the Federal and State government coffers with every kilometre they travel. Here’s how: Vehicle purchase First up, there’s the import duty, or tariff, which is 10 percent on most vehicles (5 percent on four-wheel-drives) that are not locally made. Then there’s GST, which amounts to 10 percent on all new car purchases. Lucky for all three of our ‘survey sample’, that none of their cars attract Luxury Car Tax (up from 25 to 33 percent in the last Federal Budget, if passed by the Senate), as the threshold for this tax is $57,123. Vehicle ownership Annual Queensland registration charges increase with the number of cylinders, and added on each time is a fl at Traffi c Improvement Fee of $44.45. When buying a vehicle, expect a vehicle registration duty that is levied on a sliding scale from 2 percent (hybrid vehicle), 3 percent (four- cylinder), 3.5 percent (six cylinder) to 4 percent (eight or more cylinders). 16 OCT/NOV 08 Vehicle use Car drivers pay $71.05 for a fi ve-year driver’s licence and tolls are an ever-increasing impost. For example, to use the Gateway Bridge over the Brisbane River, car drivers are charged $2.90 each time. But the cost that provokes the most controversy is fuel excise, which is 38.14 cents a litre. And it doesn’t stop there. GST (10 percent) is also applied to fuel. Look deep enough, though, and the motorist does get a rare break. The State Government’s Queensland Fuel Subsidy Scheme reduces taxation of petrol and diesel by 9.19 cents a litre. This comprises a direct tax subsidy of 8.35 cents a litre and a GST saving of 0.835 cents a litre. GOVERNMENT TAX TAKE Susan 4-cyl Import tax or tariff GST on vehicles Driver’s licence (annual % of 5-year licence) Fuel excise GST on fuel Qld fuel subsidy (cost reduction) Government revenue Total year 1 $20,000 car 10,000 km travelled $1600 Registration $219 Traffic improvement fee Vehicle registration duty $600 $14 $267 $95 $1818 (4-cyl) $44 The Smiths Mike 6-cyl 8-cyl $40,000 car $50,000 car 15,000 km 25,000 km travelled $3200 travelled $4000 $3636 (6-cyl) $336 $44 $1400 $14 $629 $224 $9331 $4545 (8-cyl) $470 $44 $2000 $14 $1335 $476 -$64 -$152 -$322 $4593 $12,562 Photo by Gianna Stadelmyer, Shutterstock.com.
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