Council vote on Bendigo GovHub should be deferred
The biggest decision to be made since the formation of the Bendigo ‘super council’, aka the City of Greater Bendigo, will be voted on by councillors on 20th February.
That being, to build an enormous office building that not only houses all council administrative staff, but serves as a State Government Hub.
The concept for this “visionary” initiative is commendable. However the proposed lopsided deal that Bendigo has been offered by the Victorian State Government, is not.
Ballarat will receive $100 million and 600 new government jobs for its hub, whilst Bendigo will receive a paltry $16 million and 100 jobs.
It would seem Ballarat’s CEO and councillors put a more persuasive and compelling case to the government to unlock nigh on unlimited funds for their city and residents.
Should a majority of councillors vote in favour of accepting the completely unfair State Government “deal”, I believe it will prove severely detrimental to virtually all residents and property owners within the Bendigo council boundaries, for many decades to come. For if accepted, as is, Bendigo ratepayers and residents will have a millstone of debt placed upon them that will reduce monies available for other council services.
Bendigo council has admitted road works, and drainage to avoid flooding of residents, has been falling well behind schedule for many years. Council must defer a decision and urgently correct its failure to disclose a business case, and seek meaningful community consultation. There is far too much at stake. Concerned readers best advise all councillors their feelings. Before it is too late.
Colin Carrington, Heathcote
‘No one should get a tax refund for tax they haven't paid’
Tony Dewhurst (“Tax refund removed”, Letters to the Editor, Bendigo Advertiser, Februray 6) is confused about Labor's imputation refunds policy.
In 2007, Peter Costello removed tax on superannuation withdrawals. As a result, the income of most self funded retirees, including me, far exceeds their modest taxable income.
Most self funded retirees will have investments in companies that have already paid the tax owing on dividends. So the shareholder shouldn't have to pay the tax a second time.
In 1987, Paul Keating introduced dividend imputation credits to the shareholder to ensure that dividends are only taxed once (by the company). Dividend imputation credits were not needed when the shareholder had no taxable income, as is often the case with retirees who live on their own tax free super withdrawals.
In 2000, to help win an election, Peter Costello introduced the Cash Refund Policy, where for the first time dividend imputation credits were paid in cash to people who had no taxable income. The net effect of that was that no tax at all was paid on those dividends.
The bottom line is no one should get a tax refund for tax they haven't paid. No other country in the world does it, and neither should we.
Leigh Callinin, Bendigo
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