Thursday, 16 November 2023
MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has welcomed an announcement by the State Government today that it will scrap the Emergency Services Levy, saying it would make the system for funding NSW emergency services fairer and reduce the cost-of-living burden on families and local councils.
Mr Marshall said the levy was an antiquated burden on homeowners and councils across the state and funding emergency services by an insurable tax was outdated and should have been abolished years ago.
“I welcome this decision; it is long overdue,” he said.
“NSW the only mainland state to tax insurance policy holders to fund the delivery of emergency services, which has been shown to be ridiculously costly and an inefficient way to fund frontline emergency services,” Mr Marshall said.
“It is an unfair impost on those people who do pay for insurance and the ESL has been blamed for the ballooning cost of premiums.
“Statistics speak louder than words with every $100 dollar of the emergency services levy raised: $73.70 comes from insurers through the levy on premiums, $11.70 from councils and $14.60 from the State Government, raising about $1.9 billion this year.
“I commend the government for biting the bullet and making the hard decision to ditch the levy in its current form.”
Mr Marshall said he has long campaigned to solve this vexing issue to make the system fairer, particularly for councils who are struggling with soaring costs.
“This issue has been raised with me on numerous occasions by councils in my electorate,” he said.
“Ballooning levy costs are met by the pockets of local ratepayers, resulting in less funds for councils to do the basics such as fixing roads, maintaining local parks and gardens and keeping pools and libraries open.”
“The Emergency Services Levy on councils this financial year, which will equate to future savings with this tax to be scrapped, is:
• Armidale Regional Council $1,176,423
• Gwydir Shire Council $547,986
• Glen Innes Severn Council $553,992
• Inverell Shire Council $540,866
• Moree Plains Council $679,794
• Uralla Shire Council $25,500
• Walcha Council $26,205
“I look forward to working with the Government on developing an alternative way to raise revenue for emergency services.
“Community consultation is expected to get underway very soon and I look forward to participating in it.”