Tax relief for value-adding

Rueben HaleThe West Australian
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Primary producers that process or convert their produce could soon be eligible for a whole or partial land tax exemption.

A Bill introduced by WA Finance Minister Dean Nalder last week promises tax relief that will help supplement below-average incomes for many working in agriculture.

Under the proposed amendments, a land tax exemption will apply even when primary produce is sold in a processed or converted state.

For example, a primary producer who uses the land for the production of milk and then makes cheese on- site would qualify for an exemption.

To date, primary producers who sell produce in anything other than its natural state have not been eligible for the exemption.

But WA Beef Council chairman Tony Hiscock said that while producers welcomed any measures that may make their industry more viable, details of the policy were scant.

"There seems to be money as part of the proposal for research but the conditions are still very unclear," he said.

"We also need to understand how the measure will affect other parts of the agricultural sector as well because we don't want a situation of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

If the Bill is passed, the amendments will start from July 1 this year, allowing the exemption to apply to land tax for 2014-15.

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