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Taxes & Transfer Policy Conference

My blogging activity has recently come to a standstill because of a myriad of work-related commitments. I am attending  the Australia’s Future Tax and Transfer Policy Conference  that has been organised by The Treasury over the next couple of days at the Melbourne Business School.  The papers to be presented are uniformly excellent – I have even  thought vaguely of trying to structure an advanced level unit at my university around them.   It would be informative and fun.

The paper by Professor Alan Auerbach on tax theory I found particularly valuable.   Worth reading along with the earlier piece I referred to by Professor Mankiw.  Both are great papers if you (like me) want the ‘meat’ without the mathematics.

I have been given the task of commenting on an excellent paper by John Freebairn on ‘environmental taxes’ .  I’ll post my comments on it eventually.

By about Saturday I might think again about some more ‘recreational’ blogging.

Update: My comments on John Freebairn’s paper are here.   My points were that across the OECD environmental taxes were negligible – the 2-5% of GDP ‘environmental’ taxes observed were mainly fuel excises and vehicle registration charges which targeted the environment very imperfectly and should not be vregarded as kosher environmental taxes.  These taxes should ideally be replaced or supplemented (if revenues were still sought) by user charges on roads which would provide a decent tax base that vould also be used to restructure road supply decisions.  So too could the revenues from sales of permits to a comprehensive emmissions trading scheme which has a tax base between 300-576 million tons of Co2 equivalent and which under government plans might only be cut 5% by 2020.  A sustainable tax base.

5 comments to Taxes & Transfer Policy Conference

  • Good on you, Harry. Give them good oil!

  • JimS

    Can you have that subject ready for next semester? 🙂

  • Sinclair Davidson

    JimS – If you were an Honours student at RMIT you’d be reading some of those papers next semester.

  • What is the insight for Australians’ taxes and transfer system from the meeting?

    I heard that Henry had floated a sales tax to replace company income tax sometime ago. Was that true and was the idea discussed at the meeting?

    Why was sales tax for business a good idea, or a better idea than a profit tax?

  • derrida derider

    Yep, Auerbach’s paper – and presentation too – was a beauty. I thought Richard Bird on Commonwealth-State relations was another highlight in a verywas a high standard conference.

    On the area I mostly specialise in – labour supply – I thought Michael Keeane’s paper was technically brilliant but slightly irrelevant. And it led to a less interesting discussion than I’d hoped (I especially hoped Joel Slemrod would get stuck into this session, but he didn’t).