Tax on rainwater tanks.

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by gnoll110, May 23, 2008.

  1. gnoll110

    gnoll110 Junior Member

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    What is the current tax situation in the different states?

    I do know that the initial position of the Queensland government at the time of the last water reforms were proposed included taxes on 'stock and domestic' water. That is water used for stock to drink and in household and their gardens. I assume that would include both farm dams (for sure) and water tanks (likely). Was not in the final bill/codes.

    I've also been told that farm dams require expensive ($10K+) licences to build in Vic. Can anyone confirm this?

    Is it worth putting up your hand for some money (water tant rebates) up front (and telling the state govt exactly what you got), just to be hit with an ongoing extra 'rates' increase?

    Noel
     
  2. urbanus

    urbanus Junior Member

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    According to the DPI website, a licence is needed from your local rural water authority both to construct a dam and to divert water if the gully or depression is a waterway (as defined under the Water Act 1989). Hillside dams do not require a licence as far as I am aware.
     
  3. gnoll110

    gnoll110 Junior Member

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    As I should have known, the devil is in the detail. Was told (several years ago) that any logical place you would likely want to put a dam would be classified as a 'waterway'. Sounds like only swales and saddle dams don't count.

    (b) a natural channel in which water regularly flows, whether or not the
    flow is continuous; or

    Sound nice and general and grey.

    https://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/ ... 83/s3.html

    Have read the Qld codes, swales are a grey area there. All hinges on what 'normal' means. Wonder if there are any court cases that define what 'normal' is?

    Queensland system sounds a little more logical, you're free to build dams up to a specified volume (as long as use is stock & domestic). The formulae is based on carrying capacity (of stock), number of houses & average rainfall.

    All the state & territory govts have restricted the flexibility of landuse while creating profit centres for themselves over the last 30 year. The water laws of the 1970s had some problems. The states used the reform process to grab water (& profits) instead of just fixing the issues created be changing technology (bigger and cheaper earthmoving & water pumping gear).

    Which during me back to why I asked the initial question. I fear govts are using environmental/water law reform to make profit centres out of the society's move towards more sustainable decentralised development. I'm looking for evidence of this trend.

    Noel
     
  4. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    g'day noel,

    all you say in your post was in the initial bill when it went through parliament about 10 years or so ago, they just had to introduce it by stealth so as to not raise awareness in the farming community.

    if you think along the lines that they reckon they own 90% of rainwater and all other water you will get the picture of what controls are coming, ie.,. might be farm/garden audits to determine if you may use more than your allocated 10% of rainwater which would include stored water. so an annual fee on tanks suggested equvalent to the base rater of water charges where water is piped in. and could well imagine meters on bores.

    never though of swales etc.,. but anything is probable, that may make our simple rip swales the way to go be a bit harder for them to identify them as a swale as such hey? where the copy book trench and berm swale is very visible to the eye, even the sattelite eye.

    so knowing all of the above we accepted their handout to put us on their audit of stored water, very very many took it as a gravy take, buying tanks just big enough to qualify for the rebate many even made money on the deal, but the rooster will come home to roost on that one. the premier has told all on the media that there is on the statutes their ability to level a charge on rainwater tanks no matter if you are in rural or the city.

    i have also been trying to get those who are chasing the soalr power rebate to realy think outside their box and comfort zone on this one, as once they get into bed with the gov' there may be no way out and the gov' are quiet able to alter the playing field or move the goal posts anytime they take a fancy. so the solar chasers take head of the water side of things with handouts it is not "money for nothing", like water tanks that got more expesnive due to rebates the same with solar.

    anyhow our thoughts where might as well take the rebate and buy a tank of sustantial capacity, they will find out about the tank at some time and level the charge after all they have turned aussie's into good "dob on the nighbour citizens". but no way will we get into bed with them on the solar issue.

    len
     
  5. paradisi

    paradisi Junior Member

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    queensland laws are written so that the government can start charging you for the water you collect in your rainwater tanks .... the wording is there it's just the government isn't brave enough to charge people yet
     
  6. Jana

    Jana Junior Member

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    If they start taxing rainwater collection, they will have to start taxing oxygen usage from the air, and sunlight taxes as well. Then there is the pleasure-tax everytime you have sex...and ultimately "thinking-tax" if you dare to think for yourself!

    You guys need to start building waterholding tanks under your houses...sight unseen. Good as a thermal regulator for house temperature also.
     
  7. MikeB

    MikeB Junior Member

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    Pretty stupid government who would try that on. It would take one flood event to bankrupt the state.

    Next time there is a flood form a class action for all the damage within the state naming the Premier (Hey they supervised the enacting of riduclous law they get to wear the consequences) as nominated responsible person for not maintaining EVERY waterway within the state to cope with the sudden increase in water flow. That is every creek, rill, stream, waterway swale, bund, spoon drain, table drain and river.

    They can't have it both ways. Either thay take resposibility for the rainfall and compensate every person in the state for increased food prices, property loss, devaluation of housing, damage to natural resources ie forrests crown land etc or they stop trying to charge us for what is a natural resource.

    The onus of proof would be on the government to prove that the water that fell as rain WASN'T the cause of the flood. I am not a lawyer but I would give it a fair go.
     
  8. gypsyoak

    gypsyoak Junior Member

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    There was talk of this briefly in the Adelaide Hills. They were "discussing" charging people for the water they collected via rainwater tanks, dams etc. as it prevented it from going into the waterways down to the city. (where they have mains water and huge stormwater run off...whereas we just have rainwater and use it to fight bushfires as well as our household water) This opens up a massive can of worms...... if they charge us for collecting rainwater - will they be paying for the up keep of our pipes, pumps and tanks? Will they compensate when it doesn't rain? Providing maintenance?
    Crazy talk...... it must have been the government.....
     
  9. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    seriously guys. I fear this is all hysteria.
    Firstly, I am almost certain that there is no contract or further exposure to taxation from accepting rebates. Yes, they know that we own one, but it doesn't take much effort to find out the who else has tanks.
    There is some valid argument for limiting or charging for large-on farm storages.. think Tubbo Station, or other large irrigation properties, that honestly have the ability to reduce the water available to anyone everyone else downstream by storing in multimillion litre turkey nest dams.

    A government would be honestly crazy to tax raintanks, especially in an urban environment where that water would cost them money to run through strormwater and sewerage treatment plants.
    We should all install underground tanks anyway, but I don't think this is the reason to do it..
     
  10. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    g'day ppp,

    the regulation is on the books, so it is a fore gone conclusion the only factor is when?

    the "when" is likley to be when water is fully privatised, and the profit rakers then want all the money they can legally get their hands on. a lot around with their heads in those proverbial buckets!!

    and to the other posters all gov' are protected by indemnity laws in other words they cannot be held responsible for any of teh actions you mention.

    len
     
  11. gnoll110

    gnoll110 Junior Member

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    If, 30 years ago, you had told farmers (an all state & terrs.) that things would be like this today, they would have laughed at you. (I talking about both irrigation and dry land farmers too).

    There is a lot of farmers out there who feel they lost a lot, without compensation. There is a lot of ill will about the current laws.


    Gnoll110
     
  12. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    g'day gnoll,

    they sure are dirty but the horse has bolted on them, they relied to heavily on their own political party which they failed to accept had long since deserted them and not only with their name change, and they also counted on their political lobyist/agitator the national farmers federation which had sold them out long ago.

    when we moved up to rural which was about the time bleaty bum rushed this legislation through parliament unoppossed at around midnight when the opposition were out to sleep, i tried telling some farmer types when we were looking for land to buy and guess what?? hey. they laughed at us said "yeh over someones ded body" they reckoned farmers would would come out with their fire stiks blazing (yeh i was thinking just like blazing saddles, i think they've been given an all day sucker to suck on becuase they ahve gone quiet and succumed like little lambs). well when it hit they said how could they? easily was my reply.

    the legislation is for the profit rakers when privatisation hits and is only for those broadacre/factory farm habitat destroyers who need and suck up all the irrigation, the family famers days are numbered, right when fuel is going through the roof and food miles will mean we can't afford the food from those very distant factory farms.

    so if anyone wants to get into bed with the gov on rebates be warned. on the tank we figured ah what the heck! they'll find out one day thru' dob on a neighbour scheme, so might as well take the bribe, and a tank will be reasonably cheap to replace should it ever wear out, that's waht they'll be expecting. now what was this about hysteria??? and none of this will be unique to queensland or australia for that matter so let nobody get too comfortable in their box.

    len
     
  13. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    I don't understand how refusing a rebate on a tank would make ANY difference. A tax would apply equally to subsidised or unsubsidised tanks.

    I find it completely bizare that you are suggesting people don't take the money, ok, so maybe they shouldn't give the rebate at all, but if they're giving it out???

    People CRAP ON about EVERYONE buying the minimum tank to get the rebate. That is ABSOLUTE CRAP. I see plenty of larger tanks all around my neighbourhood, often the largest that can fit in the particular space (this includes for example the one of my tanks that I claimed a rebate on)..
     
  14. gnoll110

    gnoll110 Junior Member

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    Before you can tax something, you need to know it's there to tax. Daylight robbery ;) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window_tax (this tax existed across Europe, it was not exclusive to the UK)

    Today govts use aerial photos, no one goes to the land. Valuations keep going up, but have you ever seen anyone for the Valuer General go out to do a valuation.

    I don't expect people who is putting in a tank to knock the money back. I'm just stirring the pot a bit. It has been pointed out, the laws are there in most jurisdictions (a fact I was not aware of when I started this thread). So the only way to stop these taxes being introduce is via public awareness. That is, to make the political cost too high to pay.

    There as three way taxes are generally introduced.

    1 Hit a small group with a relatively heavy tax. Even if there is a cost in votes, it won't make much difference. If they traditional support the opposition, all the better! Eg existing water reforms/charges on farmers

    2 Introduce a small tax to a very large group and hope they don't notice or it isn't enough to turn their vote against you. Eg Sales taxes.

    3 Present it as the least worst option (against other options or against the status quo). Eg Provisional taxes and the GST.

    Given these note, I think the most likely way a Water tank tax would be introduced in Queensland is via one of two ways. One, as a surcharge against 'rich' large land holders/farmers (method 1). Two, as part of the 'best option' for building the South East Queensland water grid (method 3).


    Gnoll110
     
  15. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    hmm, I still have hope, and think that it would be just so counter-productive to tax tanks, causing greater consumption of limited reticulated water.. OK, I agree on one thing, it is good to raise the issue and get peoples pulse up a bit (like mine in the previous post I guess), so that if they ever tried it we could provide a sufficient reason for them to reverse it..
     
  16. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    and now that your pulse is up ppp, seems like you have a very good pari of "rose coloured" glasses!

    as gnoll says so everytime a military aircraft be it f111 or helicopter flies over head they are realing of pic's for the gov, and why not ther is almost no cost in it, then there are the sattelites, already people in far out places have been pinged putting in unlicensed dams (as it was told to me when the property owner denied having a dam they showed him pic's and even pic's of the earth moving equipment used, very detailed i am led to believe) the property owner copped a fine, this is the real world. brisbane city has had pic's taken from f111's since the mid 1970's so they know about all or any illegal structures or pools or whatever.

    and yes very many people did buy tanks way to samll to make any difference to home water use thought these tanks where enough to qualify for a rebate, i live across the road from such a family they probably made money on the rebate scheme, but they did not like the many homes that we drive past who have tanks way to small allocate the improtance of water above the need for a cash grab to look good (this is also the real world). if the rebate scheme was fair dinkum it would have been on a sliding scale depending on what sized tank you bought that would fit and show the importance of the value of water than the value of a rebate, it would have encouraged the installation of larger tanks. sorry if i don't ahve that bucket or those rose coloured glasses, but the only way we can maybe beat this is to all come together, divided we fall.

    the only way we can beat it is to unite instead of shooting the messanger and dobbing on neighbours.

    len
     
  17. Douglas J.E. Barnes

    Douglas J.E. Barnes Junior Member

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    I'd say there is a lot of cost in it. Millions for the aircraft, hundreds of millions if it's a satellite. If it is an aircraft, then there is all the government money spent on training the pilot and fueling and servicing the plane or helicopter.

    So, you guys pay millions in taxes every year for this crap and the government makes a few hundred thousand a year (maybe) in fines. What a bargain! What a tremendously efficient use of resources! Why not ground the planes then just take a measly $10 million each year, put it in a pile, pour gasoline on it and light it on fire? This would have the merit of saving money at least. :banghead:

    {sarcasm}Then again, I suppose the planes need to be maintained to counter the dire threat of invasion from Indonesia.{/sarcasm}
     
  18. gnoll110

    gnoll110 Junior Member

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    Don't know if your example was in Queensland. This sound like a circa 2002 case, these codes (but no the law) have been rewritten. The circa 2002 codes assumed that a drought would only last one year.

    This s#*t is real detail and subject to one of a number of codes (hope you get the code right, they could fine you if you didn't). There are two general codes that could apply (plus a bunch for specials, to cover complex situation). The general codes requires paperwork in some cases and not in others. So you have to pick the right code, maybe self-assess to start with, then check information etc, maybe submit paperwork (sometimes this can be after the fact) and hope the govt hasn't changed (re issued every year or two) the classification of the gully you're building the dam on in the mean time. And while you’re doing all this, could the Vegetation management codes apply too?

    Oh I can tell you it a wonderful way to spend the Christmas break, reading codes and calculating dam volume limits (based on average rainfall, stocking rates, number of houses, acreage)

    On the vegetation side of the house, I know of one farmer who rang the department just to check what he was about to do all checked out Ok. The staffer told him no way. He then outline why the actions met the current land/vegetation classifications that applied to his land. The staffer said they would check with the bosses. Any way, a few days later the staffer rang back and sheepishly told him that his plan were Ok and that the department had no issues. So the bureaucracy sometime doesn't understand the codes they are applying.

    Speaking of evidence, Queensland has be issuing aerial photos with 'Not to be used as evidence' printed on then. So you can't use official photos to prove you're innocence. As of 18 months ago, this was being contested in the court, and the appeal on the appeal was being appealed. Also as of 18 month ago, Victoria had a project to 'digitally enhance' all their publicly issues aerial photos to a degree that the courts there wouldn't accept them as factual evidence too.


    Noel Kelly
     
  19. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    yes gnoll,

    it was in qld tara i think in the headwater region of the murray/darling river system, they have had strict rules on dam building out that way for a while now, als saw a case on tv in victoria some years back now wher a land holder built a dam on a slope and was being threatened with a fine as in the authorities description the slope represented a catchment, though ther was no creek nearby, their argument all water that runs off of land is catchment. same again out gatton way i think a farmer said he could do nothing to stop water from running of of his land as it was catchment and required the authority to do so and payment of a license to build said dam, the victorian bloke much the same scenerio, not sure what happend they wanted i think (don't quote me $30k for a license??). but like you say you can only dam to a rule of use which i a rediculous scale to say the least

    this all come under their guise that they own all waters in gullies. creeks, rivers bays & oceans and they also own 90% of rain fall water, we land owners are only entitled to 10% of rainfall on our properties, so on the 70 acres we used to own av' rainfall range 800 to 1000 mm per annum we would be allowed to retain and use 80 to 10 mm of that fall. not many watch the shows wher they are likely to pick up these snippets of info' the general public at large would ratehr watch sattelite sport.

    reckon they should recalculate that modern droughts last 10 to 15 years not one!!

    the use of military aircraft come under well they are flying over anyway so might as well run the camera hey it all comes under practise!! and you never know waht they may capture on film hey??

    len
     
  20. Douglas J.E. Barnes

    Douglas J.E. Barnes Junior Member

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    Re: Tax on rainwater tanks.

    If the argument is that it takes water away from rivers or dams lower in the watershed then I say

    State 0, Peer-Reviewed Science 1

    Looks like they need a new fabricated excuse.
     

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