Regional Businesses Saving Big On Payroll Tax

Businesses in regional Victoria are saving millions thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s regional payroll tax cuts, with more savings on the horizon.

More than 4,400 businesses in regional Victoria are forecast to share in $154 million in savings just this financial year.

It includes savings of more than $31 million in Greater Geelong, almost $15 million in Ballarat and $11 million saved for Bendigo businesses.

The Labor Government is making it easier to do business in regional Victoria – and in turn supporting local jobs – by cutting regional payroll tax to just a quarter of the metropolitan rate, phased in over three years.

For the current financial year, it sits at 2.425 per cent – half the metro rate.

From 1 July, the regional payroll tax rate will continue to be cut by 0.4 percentage points until it hits a quarter of the metro rate in 2022-23 – making it the lowest payroll tax rate in Australia.

That’s on top of the cut the Government made in July 2018, which brought the regional rate down from 3.65 per cent to the current rate.

The Labor Government has also expanded the eligibility requirements so that more businesses can access the regional tax rate even if their business is registered in the metro area. They now qualify as long as 85 per cent of their wages are paid to staff working in regional Victoria.

Bushfire-affected businesses are receiving extra assistance, including:

  • Immediate payroll tax reduction to a quarter of the metro rate
  • Waiving of water rates for 12 months for businesses destroyed or significantly damaged by fire

Victoria’s regional unemployment rate remains consistently low, at 3.7 per cent in the three months to December – the lowest in the nation and well below the national average.

Across the state, more than 23,000 people found a job in regional areas during this period – an increase of 3.3 per cent, the highest growth in the country.

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas 

“These tax savings are worth thousands of dollars to thousands of businesses – it’s about making life easier for regional employers.”

“In just a few months’ time, we’ll be cutting the payroll tax rate again to 2.02 per cent – less than half the metropolitan rate.”

“We’re giving regional businesses the security they need to keep creating jobs, with a fairer tax system that spreads the benefits right across the state.”