Clubs sign up to new tax deal
REGIONAL clubs struck gold after the NSW Coalition announced it would significantly cut club taxes if it wins next year’s State election.
State Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell is visiting Casino today to sign an agreement with the Casino RSM Club honouring the Opposition’s commitment to cutting taxes.
In return, the clubs would guarantee to increase their donations to community groups.
The deal would guarantee funds stayed in the community, Mr Cansdell said.
“It stays in the community and doesn’t go down to Sydney. This is the greatest thing about this tax deal,” he said.
“There are plenty of individuals out there who are in hard times and clubs are the first port of call for them.”
Under the proposal, club tax rates statewide would be reduced by $299 million over four years, and the clubs’ social contributions would increase to $272 million.
“When the club tax was first brought in by the Labor Government, it was a tax on communities. It cut back on staff and community groups,” Mr Cansdell said.
“This way, the money stays in the community, either in employment or in community volunteer organisations or sports clubs.”
Asked what he thought of the Greens’ view that the Coalition was ‘caving in’ to big business, Mr Cansdell responded: “The Labor Party caved into the Greens to get their preference votes.
“We talk to all the clubs all the time and talk to community groups. We know the first place people go to is the clubs, not the Greens.”
NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell estimated the new tax arrangement would create 2000 jobs annually.
Casino RSM Club chief executive Phil Mallon said the club tax change was a ‘welcome initiative’.
“The Casino RSM Club contributes about $460,000 to the community and it is getting harder and harder to continue this level of support,” he said.
“That’s what we are here for, to be a hub for the community. So any relief from the level of tax we pay, and the unnecessary government regulation that we are looking at, will always help us offer the support the community desires.”
Lismore Workers Club group general manager Steve Bortolin said his various clubs would save about $200,000 over four years if the tax change was implemented.