Community Groups Wrongly Charged Land Tax

27 Jun 2005 archivemedia

South Australian organisations are being urged to be wary of State Government agencies that are incorrectly distributing tax bills for hundreds of dollars.

Liberal Legislative Councillor Michelle Lensink said the Opposition had been inundated with complaints from community organisations and individuals who had received land tax bills, despite not owing any money.

“Community not-for-profit organisations are scandalously being ripped off by the State Government,” she said.

“The Government is in the bait of sending out land tax bills to unsuspecting recipients, regardless of whether or not they are liable. Many people assume that when they receive a notice, they should be paying the amount, but this is not always the case.

“The Australian South East Asian Women’s Association (ASEAWA) was paying land tax for several years when it clearly should not have been.

“The organisation should have been exempt because its properties are used to provide emergency accommodation at substantially reduced rates. It was established for charitable purposes and any income from renting properties is returned to continue its work.

“However the government ignored this and continued to send ASEAWA land tax bills – year after year.

“The organisation was then using its scarce cash flow to fill the government coffers, rather than towards women and children in need of assistance.

“I am absolutely outraged at this, and warn other community organisations to beware.

“It seems the government will stop at nothing to rip off the South Australian community.”