The South Australian Government handed down its State Budget on Thursday 6 June 2013.

 As we have seen in other State Budgets this year, South Australia is facing reduced GST and grants revenue, however, unlike the Queensland Government earlier this week, the South Australian Government is planning to continue spending on infrastructure projects.

Pleasingly, the South Australian Government also supported reforms to payroll tax for small business.

Need to know

The headline items from the Budget are:

  • The budget for 2013–14 is a deficit of $911 million
  • The estimated net operating balance result for 2012–13 is a deficit of $1.314 billion
  • Increase in net debt for 2013-14 of $1.300 billion (total net debt $6.951 billion or 45% of revenue)
  • Returns the budget to surplus in 2015-16 
  • Provides a stimulus to the housing and construction sectors by way of support for affordable housing programmes
  • Increased spending on hospitals
  • Continues the major investment in new infrastructure for the State's future, including the next stage of the South Road upgrade from Torrens Road to the River Torrens, electrification of the Gawler rail line to Dry Creek, and the Tonsley Park Public Transport Project
  • Includes a package of measures to support small businesses and also gives those who want to start or expand a business greater support, including payroll tax concessions
  • Significantly lifts disability funding in preparation for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • Includes funding to address Aboriginal disadvantage and to assist communities on the APY Lands
  • Finds new efficiencies and brings forward some existing savings initiatives to address the lower-than- projected GST revenue flowing to the Budget

The detail on tax

A concessional payroll tax rate of 2.5% will apply to annual taxable payrolls of between $600,000 and $1 million, effectively halving the payroll tax rate for these businesses. The concessional rate phases out to the tax rate of 4.95% for payrolls between $1 million and $1.2 million.

The government will provide a stamp duty exemption for eligible corporate reconstructions that occur from 1 July 2013. This exemption will replace the corporate reconstruction ex-gratia relief administrative scheme that is currently provided by the government.