The proposed measure, tipped to raise almost $400 million by 2021, is opposed by 72 per cent of local small businesses, according to surveying by mid-tier firm BDO, which has an Adelaide office.
“The SA bank tax is a bad and damaging policy. It will make SA less competitive at a time when the state desperately needs new jobs and investment, particularly for young South Australians who are increasingly being forced to look interstate for work,” said Australian Bankers’ Association chief executive Anna Bligh in response to the survey results.
In spite of the substantial revenue boost, local accountants, like ex-KPMG consultant and founder of The Real Thiel, Lauren Thiel, are similarly concerned about the economic impacts of the tax.
“The potential for the tax to result in higher fees for bank customers, including small business owners, could deter investment in SA. As identified by Deloitte in their ‘Let’s Make it Adelaide’ report, the future success of our SA economy will come with a higher population; this is achieved through retaining talent and attracting new talent to our state,” Ms Thiel told Accountants Daily.
“I want to see initiatives that make it easier and cheaper to live here, work here, invest here and take risks here. This can start from the top with our governments supporting small business. The youth of SA, including myself, place trust in political and other leaders that they will prioritise actions that are for the long-term benefit of our state and our people,” she said.
Chief executive of Accodex Chris Hooper, also a South Australia local, said he doesn’t believe it’s a matter for the states to levy.
“Philosophically I have always been opposed to any additional taxation, even if it doesn't affect me or Accodex's clients. Instead, I will always favour conservative management of government spending,” Mr Hooper told Accountants Daily.
“The banking sector is not held in particularly high esteem by the business community, just ask any business owner that's tried to get a loan without residential security. This makes them an easy target for taxation as it won't have an adverse affect to the voting public. It's akin to taxing the super wealthy or the mining super profits tax,” he added.