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4629.0.55.001 - Discussion Paper: Environmental taxes in Australia - Experimental new statistics, 2000-2011  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/12/2012  First Issue
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Contents >> Taxes and environmental taxes >> What is an environmental tax?


The definition of an environmental tax is: "a tax whose tax base is a physical unit (or a proxy of it) of something that has a proven specific negative impact on the environment." (SEEA 2012 para. 4.150). This means that the statistics are compiled on the basis of the tax on a good or a production process. It is important to note that, in general, payments on the extraction of minerals or energy resources are not included since these types of payments are recorded as payments on rent (i.e. payments for services).

Environmental taxes include taxes on production and imports, capital taxes and current taxes on income and wealth. Environmental taxes are presented according to four broad categories: energy, transport, pollution and resources. The environmental taxes currently levied in Australia are:

  • Energy (including taxes such as carbon) and
  • Transport (including taxes such as stamp duties).

Pollution and resource taxes are currently not legislated in Australia.

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