Address at the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Tax Conference
On 17 December, PCE Chief Economist Geoff Simmons presented a speech on behalf of the Commissioner at the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand’s Tax Conference in Auckland.
Entitled Are environmental taxes the perfect solution that nobody wants?, this speech discussed considerations of the five possible environmental taxes suggested by the Government’s Tax Working Group:
- Increasing solid waste charges
- Greenhouse gas emissions – auctioning units
- Congestion charging
- Water takes
- Water pollution.
It also highlighted the conundrum at the heart of environmental taxes: if the aim of these taxes is truly to change behaviour, then these taxes will not be a useful source of revenue. A successful tax will eventually cannibalise the revenue stream it provides.