Australia’s Future Tax System (2009) among its recommendations identified the need for realignment of tax revenue across the tiers of government in Australia, as well as the need to raise additional revenue from land-based taxes. In achieving these objectives, this paper aims to examine the revenues generated from land and how capital gains tax may be reconceptualised as a value capture tax resulting from the rapid urbanisation of Australia’s cities. The development of a theoretical framework realigns the emerging rationale of a value capture tax, as a means for revenue to be divested from central government in the form of capital gains, to sub-central government as a value capture tax.
A qualitative research methodology comprising grounded theory and phenomenological research is used in undertaking the review of tax revenue collection from state land tax, conveyance stamp duty, local government rating and Commonwealth capital gains tax. Grounded theory is applied for constant comparison of the data with the objectives of maximising similarities and differences in these revenues with an analytical construct as defined by Strauss and Corbin (1990, p. 61).
The paper finds that realigning revenue from land-based taxes against the principles of good tax design provides greater opportunity to raise additional revenue to fund public infrastructure while decentralising revenue from central government. It provides an alternate mechanism for revenue transfer from central to sub-central government while conceptually improving own source revenue from value capture taxation as a new revenue source.
The limitation of this paper is the ability to quantify the potential increase that would be generated in the form of value capture revenue. It is demonstrated in the paper that capital gains tax took over 15 years for revenue generation to crystallise, a factor that would likely occur in the potential introduction of a value capture tax for funding transport infrastructure.
The pathway to introducing a value capture tax is through re-innovating capital gains tax as a value capture tax directly hypothecated to funding transport infrastructure that results in the uplift in values of the surrounding property from which revenue is raised.
This paper provides a new approach in contributing to funding the capital outlay of public infrastructure in lieu of central government consolidated revenue allocated through the Commonwealth Grants Commission. It provides a much-needed approach to decentralising revenue from the Commonwealth to sub-central government in Australia which has one of the most centralised tax systems in the OECD.
Mangioni, V. (2019), "Value capture taxation: alternate sources of revenue for Sub-Central government in Australia", Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 200-216. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFMPC-11-2018-0065
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited