For those of you unfamiliar, twice a year in March and September local and State Government of Australia issue something called rates notices to all property owners. This is effectively a state land tax on private dwellings and can be a charge of anything between $1,800 and $3,100 per year depending on where you live. This is normal part of living in Australia and has occurred for as long as anyone can remember. It raises literally billions each year for State Governments.
Now the Constitution of the Commonwealth 1901 clearly states in sections 51 and 52 that State and Local Government may not levy taxes, and that taxation is held exclusively by the Federal Parliament.
Second, the Constitution of the Commonwealth states that when a law of a State is inconsistent with a law of the Commonwealth, the latter shall prevail and the former shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be invalid.
So we’ve got State Government levying its own land taxes which our Commonwealth Constitution says is unlawful for it to do, and when you complain or query the State is quick to provide you an excerpt of State law (legislated decades after 1901) which says it is lawful. Yet overarching that is Constitutional law which says that, if a State law is in conflict with Constitutional Law, it is invalid.
I’m not misinterpreting this. This stuff is crystal clear. There are whispers on the internet that you can challenge this land tax levy and win, but only after they bury you in years long legal battles that go as high as the High Court of Australia and end up costing more in legal fees than it would to just pay the rates each year.
Then there’s the added conspiracy that in the mid-1970’s the Commonwealth Constitution ceased being taught in, and was removed from schools, and shortly after was re-written into a condensed version for public use. Guess what’s been left out of that version? Yep, amongst other things, the parts on State tax levies and the conflict between State and Constitutional Law. You can still access the original Commonwealth Constitution, 1901, but for the low, low price of $380 opposed to the new version which can be bought for $20 from any good book store.
Anyway I just wanted to share this.
EDIT: To any Aussies ever reading this the original and only true Constitution of our country is called the Annotated Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth, 1901, authored by Quick and Garran and contains 1001 pages. Anything else is a bullsh*t re-write.