The Tasmanian government won't be heeding the New South Wales Treasurer's call for the states to back a broadening of the GST base, with Premier Peter Gutwein affirming that the Liberal Party is "about lower taxes, not more taxes".
Last week, NSW's money man Dominic Perrottet detailed an ambitious proposal for the GST to either be increased or broadened to produce a bigger windfall for the states amid tough economic conditions brought on by the black summer bushfires and COVID-19.
It's generally accepted that the federal government needs the permission of all states and territories to tinker with the GST. Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has already ruled out making any changes to the tax, which is Tasmania's single biggest source of revenue.
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Mr Perrottet has also floated a phasing out of stamp duty, which he said was "by far the most inefficient tax". The NSW Treasurer has suggested that a broad-based land tax take its place.
Former federal Treasury secretary Ken Henry has since publicly backed elements of Mr Perrottet's plan.
Mr Gutwein, who is also Tasmania's Treasurer, roundly rejected it, however.
"In terms of tax reform, I don't believe that you can tax your way out of this [crisis]," Mr Gutwein said on Sunday. "I've made that perfectly clear."
"The Liberal Party is about lower taxes, not more taxes.
"Importantly, we need to look at all of our settings as we move forward to ensure that we've got the most competitive business environment moving forward.
"But we have no plans to increase the rate of GST at this stage."
State Labor Treasury spokesman David O'Byrne said Mr Gutwein had "failed to show any courage" when it came to tax reform.
The Liberal Party is about lower taxes, not more taxes.Peter Gutwein, Tasmanian Premier
"Over the past 12 months, Mr Gutwein has refused to speculate on the national tax debate, saying it was a matter for the other states," he said. "Either he has a secret plan for new taxes or no plan at all for the tax framework.
"I don't know which one is more dangerous."
Mr O'Byrne said the Premier needed to "state clearly where he stands on these issues" and detail his "precise involvement" in any national conversations around tax reform.
"Tasmanians [must] know what position their government is taking," Mr O'Byrne said.