It appears in Victoria we have differential discriminatory land tax laws, the power of taxation comes from section 51 of the Commonwealth Constitution.
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT - SECT 51
Legislative powers of the Parliament
The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:
(ii) taxation; but so as not to discriminate between States or parts of States;
LAND TAX ACT 2005 - SECT 34A
Imposition of vacant residential land tax
(a) residential land which is vacant; and
(b) within the specified geographic area.
Victoria has 79 council areas, yet only 16 areas are within a specified geographic area and susceptible to land tax, a discrimination against parts of the State.
LAND TAX ACT 2005 - SCHEDULE 2A
Schedule 2A—Specified geographic area
Banyule City Council
Bayside City Council
Boroondara City Council
Darebin City Council
Glen Eira City Council
Hobsons Bay City Council
Manningham City Council
Maribyrnong City Council
Melbourne City Council
Monash City Council
Moonee Valley City Council
Moreland City Council
Port Phillip City Council
Stonnington City Council
Whitehorse City Council
Yarra City Council
QUICK & GARREN ANNOTATED CONSTITUTION.
DISCRIMINATIONS.—The Federal Parliament may not impose a tax which discriminates between States or parts of States (s. 51—ii.) This is a limitation which has been provided for federal reasons, viz., for the protection of States which might not possess sufficient strength in the Federal Parliament to resist the imposition of a system of taxation designed to press more heavily on people or property in some States than on people or property in other States. To discriminate obviously means to make differences in the nature, burden, incidence and enforcement of taxing law; to impose a high tax on commodities or persons in one State and a low tax on the same class of commodities or persons in another State, would be to discriminate. Such discriminations are forbidden, and uniformity of taxation throughout the Commonwealth is an essential condition of the validity of every taxing scheme. Any deviation from this rule would invalidate a tax. The provision against discrimination is practically the same in substance as the requirement of Art. 1, s. 8, sub-s. 1, of the United States Constitution that “all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.' It has been held in that country that “uniform” means at the same rate on the same article wherever found. (Head Money Cases, 112 U.S. 580; Burgess, Pol. Sci. ii. 151.)
TAXING POWER NOT EXCLUSIVE.—The power of taxation vested in the Federal Parliament is not exclusive, except to the extent and in respect of matters as to which it is declared exclusive by the Constitution, or is so by necessary implication. The only taxes which by express words are exclusively vested in the Federal Parliament are duties of customs and excise (sec. 90). Upon the imposition of uniform duties of customs the power of the Parliament to impose duties of customs and excise becomes exclusive. With respect to other subjects of taxation the States possess the concurrent power of levying taxes, within their jurisdiction, subject to the restrictions, (1) that they cannot tax public property of any kind belonging to the Commonwealth (s. 114); (2) that by necessary implication they cannot tax any of the constitutional means or instruments employed by the Commonwealth (McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316); (3) that they cannot tax the compensation or official income of officers of the Commonwealth. (Dobbins v. Erie County, 16 Pet. 435; Leprohon v. City of Ottowa, 1878, 2 Ontario App. Rep. 522; Wheeler, C.C. p. 70.
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