Clubbed by taxes

By ED SOUTHORN

THE NSW licensed clubs industry, one of the Tweed's biggest employers, is angry at the State Government's rejection of an offer to pay more tax.

Clubs NSW chief executive David Costello yesterday said Premier Morris Iemma wanted even more than the clubs' latest offer of $6.6 billion in pokies taxes by 2011.

Twin Towns Services Club general manager Rob Smith said the Tweed's largest club was already paying more than $1 million a year in extra taxes but the "real bite" on clubs from the pokies tax hike would be in 2009/10.

He said Tweed clubs would campaign against the extra taxes in the 2007 State election campaign and welcomed Nationals candidate Geoff Provest, a former boss at the Tweed Heads Bowls Club.

Mr Smith said that clubs would increase efforts to help patrons understand that the extra taxes meant clubs would be forced to charge "full commercial rates".

Mr Costello said: "Over the coming weeks and months, Clubs NSW will ensure every man, woman and child hears and reads exactly what the tax increases are doing."

A spokesman for Mr Iemma did not respond to requests for comment.

Mr Costello said the clubs had offered a 42 per cent increase in larger clubs' tax rates, but clubs with revenue of less than $1 million would have continued to pay 9.9 per cent GST with no state tax.



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