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Rural Kiwis, from farmers and contractors to retailers, engineers and many other hardworking New Zealanders would be hurt by a Capital Gains Tax and a raft of new taxes aimed at the primary sector, National’s Agriculture spokesperson Nathan Guy says.

“The Government’s Tax Working Group has recommended New Zealand introduce a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the family farm of 33 per cent, an animal emissions tax, water tax, fertiliser tax, and consider an environmental footprint tax and a natural capital tax.

“With all these taxes combined a typical dairy farm could be paying up to $68,000 annually in new taxes if irrigated, or $25,000 without irrigation. An average sheep and beef farm could be taxed $20,000 per year.

On top of these new taxes, the Capital Gains Tax would typically apply at a 33 per cent tax rate. If a farmer sells their farm after ten years, the Tax Working Group expects them to pay over a $600,000 tax bill for an average dairy, sheep or beef farm.

“A Capital Gains Tax will be a handbrake on young farmers progressing into more productive farms and upsizing.

“Valuers and tax advisers will be licking their lips at all the work that is being created for them. Meanwhile, farmers are going to be tied up in red tape by the army of bureaucrats enforcing these taxes. 

“More taxes will hurt provincial New Zealand as farmers lock away their cheque books and freeze farm investments. This will have a negative impact on most provincial towns.

“Farmers and growers are being treated as a cash cow, and it shows how completely out of touch the current Government is. Farmers would be expected to pay tax to water their stock, feed their crops and even when they sell up for retirement.

“Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced last year that when it comes to soaring costs and taxes on farmers there are more coming. He arrogantly told Rural News that farmers need to ‘get used to it’. The Government is now living up to Mr O’Connor’s word.

“National will fight the Government’s proposed tax grab every step of the way. We will repeal a Capital Gains Tax, and we will not introduce any new taxes in our first term.

“National believes New Zealanders should keep more of what they earn and the Government should keep its sticky fingers out of their wallets.”

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