The New South Wales racing industry is set to be significantly better off after Premier Mike Baird confirmed next week’s budget will result in tax cuts to bring the state into line with Victoria.
The current NSW tax rate is $3.22 from every $100 wagered compared with the Victorian rate of $1.28.
Baird told News Limited his government will phase in the cuts over the next five years that will eventually result in a $100 million-plus per year windfall for the state’s racing industry.
“With this reform, The Championships will aim to overtake Melbourne’s Spring Carnival as the premier event on the Australian racing calendar,” Baird said.
The first tax rate cut will take effect on January 1, 2016 when the current rate of $3.22 is reduced to $2.83 per $100 wagered from January 1, 2016. It is expected that reduction will see another $10 million flow into racing.
In 2017 the tax rate will be reduced to $2.44 ($25 million benefit), then $2.05 ($45 million benefit) in 2018, then $1.66 in 2019 ($70 million benefit) with the final tax cut, to $1.28, set to happen on January 1, 2020.
“The industry is worth $3.3 billion per year to NSW and employs almost 56,000 people — we want to secure its future for the economy and the race-going public,” Deputy Premier and Racing Minister Troy Grant said.
“Such an important industry needs to be able to compete on a level playing field, otherwise we’re sending jobs and investment interstate.”
Grant said the government will now work with the racing industry stakeholders to implement how the additional funds will be spent. Country racing, infrastructure, the Championships and racing apprenticeships have been identified as possible beneficiaries.
“Investments will be made in line with each code’s strategic plan which is developed and agreed to by both government and industry,” Grant said.