Private schools in Victoria will be stripped of their long-held exemption to payroll tax next year, netting the state more than $420 million in revenue over three years. Source: The Age.
The change means that many private schools will, for the first time, pay two other levies on top of their new payroll tax obligation: the mental health levy that was introduced last year and a new temporary increase to payroll tax that was announced in yesterday’s State Budget.
The schools will have to pay 4.86 per cent payroll tax and the additional two levies, which will each add between 0.5 per cent and 1 per cent to the tax bill of affected schools, depending on their size.
About 110 of the state’s highest-fee non-government schools will lose their payroll tax exemption from July 2024. The budget papers say the change will affect roughly the 15 per cent of schools that have the most expensive fees, though many mid-fee schools could also pay more.
The head of Victoria’s Catholic school sector attacked the new tax, saying it had been announced without consultation, and would hit more than 25 Catholic schools, potentially costing them more than $1 million each.
“Our families already contribute significantly to the cost of their children’s education, and unlike government schools, this payroll tax is real money, which will have to be found somewhere,” Catholic Education Commission Victoria executive director Jim Miles said.
The Education Minister and Treasurer will have the discretion to exempt schools from the change, which is forecast to increase revenue by $134.8 million in 2024-25, rising to $140.3 million in 2025-26 and $147.1 million in 2026-27.
‘There will be job losses’: State’s richest private schools cop $420m payroll tax bill (By Adam Carey, The Age)