News

Company using bees to avoid paying more tax, says Council

Maha Sinnathamby's Springfield Land Corporation and the Ipswich City Council are locked in a land tax wrangle over almost $750,000.
Maha Sinnathamby's Springfield Land Corporation and the Ipswich City Council are locked in a land tax wrangle over almost $750,000. David Nielsen

IPSWICH City Council and Springfield Land Corporation are locked in a land tax wrangle over almost $750,000.

The council is seething, saying Maha Sinnathamby's company has artificially tried to avoid paying land rates by putting beehives on a block of land and then claiming primary producer status.

Council planning boss Paul Tully said from July last year, 666 hectares owned by SLC at Springfield Lakes and Brookwater Golf Club had been reclassified as primary production land by the Office of State Revenue.

MAKING NEWS TODAY...

Police charge three boys after car chase through Ipswich

Police make first arrest after hammer attack on taxi driver

"This was achieved by bringing in over 1300 native beehives from northern New South Wales," Cr Tully said.

Stingless native bees are mainly used for pollinating crops rather than honey production.

"The primary production classification had the effect of lowering their land valuation from $88.3 million to $22 million," Cr Tully said.

"It reduced SLC's annual rates bill by last year by over $723,000.

"Over 10 years, SLC stands to save over $20 million from the public purse. This cost will be borne by the ratepayers of Ipswich and the taxpayers of Queensland.

"Brookwater Golf Club is the only golf club in Australia officially classed as farmland with native bees ready to pollinate non-existent crops.

"At a time when the Australian honey industry is in serious decline, Maha Sinnathamby has become the richest beekeeper in the nation."

MAKING NEWS TODAY...

No cause for alarm as car crashes through garage near mosque

Our muslims do city proud, says Neumann

Last week, Mr Sinnathamby was revealed as Queensland seventh wealthiest man - worth $890 million.

For the 2015 financial year, Ipswich City Council introduced new rating categories in the Springfield region, which significantly increased the rate in the dollar in Ipswich's eastern suburbs.

"This restored SLC's general rates for this financial year to their pre-2014 figures," Cr Tully said.

"SLC has challenged the legality of Ipswich's new rating regime in the Supreme Court claiming it is unlawful and beyond council's powers under the Local Government Act.

"If successful, SLC will not legally have to pay any rates this financial year, which will cost Ipswich ratepayers an estimated $728,000 in 2014-15."

That has the potential to sink the council's next budget and risk forcing the council to dramatically increase its rates.

MAKING NEWS TODAY...

Young teenager is already on the road to ruin

Broncos, Bulldogs and Cowboys in tussle for teen Anderson

In the past, other developers in Queensland have brought in cattle and goats to get primary production status on valuable residential land prior to subdivision to save thousands of dollars in land tax.

But deputy mayor Victor Attwood said what SLC was trying to do was "beyond the pale".

"I think it's absolutely outrageous and unconscionable for Springfield Land Corporation and Maha Sinnathamby to try and artificially lower their rates to their own benefit and to the detriment of ratepayers," Cr Attwood said.

"Generally speaking, over the years, we've had a good relationship with them. "But I think this time what they are doing is beyond the pale.

"It's one of the worst examples I've seen in my 14 years in council of a developer artificially trying to get out of paying rates.

"It's a real money-hungry thing to do in a community where they're trying to build up a good spirit. I don't understand the logic.

"They're going to ruin the relationship with the council the way they're going."

Cr Tully called on SLC to "withdraw their legal action to demonstrate they are good corporate citizens".

"While battling Ipswich ratepayers struggle to pay their rates, Queensland's seventh richest man has discovered a major legal loophole to reduce his annual rates bill in Ipswich by almost three-quarters of a million dollars," he said.

"He has also cut his annual state land tax bill by an estimated $1.3 million."

Springfield Land Corporation declined to comment.

Topics:  ipswich city council maha sinnathamby springfield land corporation tax avoidance



Old Ipswich courthouse to face the wrecking ball

The old Ipswich Courthouse has been set for a facelift for more then two years.

Developers consider knocking down $3.3 million 'ugly' building

NEW: ALDI confirms opening date of seventh Ipswich store

NEW STORE: Aldi will soon open its seventh store in Ipswich.

Aldi is preparing to open its seventh store in Ipswich

HEATWAVE: 'Severe' warning for Ipswich, storms on the way

WEATHER WARNING: Temperatures continue to soar as the heatwave covers Queensland.

At 10.30am today, the temperature had already hit 31.4 degrees.

Local Partners

Gatton family claims game show success

A GATTON family walked away with more than $11,000 after an exciting three-night run on game show Family Feud.


How cyclists could peddle funds into community

BIGGER AND BETTER: Bicycle Queensland has partnered with Somerset Regional Council.

BIKE riders set to flock to the region later this year.

Big flicks could soon be seen at major shopping centre

PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT: The Mt Ommaney Shopping Centre have lodged an application with the Brisbane City Council to build a new cinema and entertainment precinct.

New entertainment and dining options have residents excited.

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

Wonder Woman a ‘disjointed disaster’, says DC insider

Gal Gadot in a scene from the movie Wonder Woman.

INSIDER says the much-hyped blockbuster will disappoint.

Kid nails Swift impersonation

Seven-year-old Xia Vigor nails Taylor Swift impersonation on the Philippine talent show Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids.

TAYLOR Swift has a seven-year-old doppelganger.

Ariana Grande 'hardest working 23-year-old on Earth'?

Ariana Grande

Not everyone was impressed with Grande’s self-proclaimed work ethic

Why The Walking Dead cast are paid a pittance

Despite massive ratings the cast haven't been shown the money

50 Shades Dornan on why he hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Chris Hemsworth’s X-rated compliment to former co-star

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth poses on the red carpet for the European premiere of the film 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' in London on April 21, 2015.

THOR star once paid former Home and Away actress a lewd compliment.

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Looking back, looking ahead in Noosa

NEVER-ENDING GLORY: Looking towards Laguna Bay and Hastings St from Noosa National Park.

Natural appeal of Noosa continues to attract buyers

NEW: ALDI confirms opening date of seventh Ipswich store

NEW STORE: Aldi will soon open its seventh store in Ipswich.

Aldi is preparing to open its seventh store in Ipswich

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!