SA budget: payroll tax rebates benefit small businesses

The Australian, July 8, 2016

Small businesses from newsagencies to bakeries and dry cleaners will benefit from payroll tax breaks, employment incentives and investment in the start-up community, as Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis uses his first South Australian budget surplus to fund employment growth.

Along with incentives for “mum and dad businesses”, the state will invest $135 million to support start-ups and entrepreneurs, including $50m to partner with the private sector to support innovation and help build high-growth companies, a $20m Economic Investment Fund to attract businesses to the state, and $29m on innovation initiatives including funding for the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute.

Mr Koutsantonis said the ­budget was about “backing South Australian small business to grow”.

“Last year’s tax cuts were all about those businesses that wanted to invest in the economy and invest in their businesses and how do we help them,” Mr Koutsan­tonis said.

“Now, quite appropriately, ­because we’re in a position where we can, we will be investing in those businesses to help them grow where we can through these grants.”

The government has committed to extending a small business payroll tax rebate of up to $9800 for businesses with a payroll of $1.2m or less. The rebate was due to finish at the end of July but will now continue until 2020.

Small businesses with a payroll of under $5m will benefit from a $10,000 incentive for each new fulltime worker employed, with businesses turning over less than $600,000 eligible for a $4000 wage subsidy.

Business SA chief executive Nigel McBride described the incentives as a “catalyst” for jobs growth at a time of high unemployment and budget surpluses.

“We hope this will send a very powerful message to say the ­government is standing with you, this is real money, over two years, that you can rely on,” he said.