Local Ballarat businesses saving big on payroll tax

Businesses across regional Victoria are saving millions thanks to the Andrews Government’s regional payroll tax cuts, with more savings on the horizon.

Labor Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison, said more than 4,400 businesses in regional Victoria – including 422 businesses in Ballarat – are forecast to share in $154 million in savings just this financial year.

Across Ballarat, it’s estimated the cuts will save businesses $14.8 million.

The Andrews Government is making it easier to do business in regional Victoria – and in turn supporting local jobs – by cutting regional payroll tax to just a quarter of the metropolitan rate, phased in over three years.

For the current financial year, it sits at 2.425 per cent – half the metro rate.

From 1 July, the regional payroll tax rate be cut by 0.4 percentage points each year until it hits a quarter of the metro rate in 2022-23 – making it the lowest payroll tax rate in Australia.

That’s on top of the cut the Government made in July 2018, which brought the regional rate down from 3.65 per cent to the current rate.

Ms Addison said the cut was delivering more jobs and a stronger economy in Ballarat.

“For every small to medium business that pays regional payroll tax, these changes have meant thousands, if not millions of dollars in savings,” Ms Addison said.

“This is about supporting Ballarat businesses so they can continue supporting local jobs and economic growth in our region,” she said.

Treasurer Tim Pallas said the cuts are designed to make life easier for regional employers.

“In just a few months’ time, we’ll be cutting the payroll tax rate again to 2.02 per cent, less than half the metropolitan rate. We’re giving regional businesses the security they need to keep creating jobs, with a fairer tax system that spreads the benefits right across the state,” Mr Pallas said.

The Labor Government has also relaxed the eligibility requirements so that more businesses can access the regional tax rate even if their business is registered in the metro area or interstate. They now qualify as long as 85 per cent of their wages are paid to staff working in regional Victoria.

Victoria’s regional unemployment rate remains consistently low, at 3.7 per cent in the three months to December – the lowest in the nation and well below the national average.

Across the state, more than 23,000 people found a job in regional areas during this period – an increase of 3.3 per cent, the highest growth in the country.

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