I've often wondered if the fact that the states are more willing to sell off infrastructure to raise funds is connected to the introduction of the GST in 2000.

Now, as I understand it, the GST replaces a whole heap of sales taxes that were collected by the states themselves with one tax that is collected federally. The legislation included arrangements for some of that revenue to be distributed back to the states, but not all of it.

How much has this changed the amount of funds available in state budgets? Could this have been a motive for selling / leasing public infrastructure to raise funds.

EDIT: Just to clarify, by states here, I don't mean the United States. I mean the State Governments of Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, et al). My interest is understanding how the change in revenue structure has affected how they govern.

2 Answers 2


Before the introduction of the GST, goods could be purchased from suppliers offering duty-free pricing upon presentation of a current passport and airline tickets. The goods would then remain sealed until the passenger had passed through the customs area at an airport.

Following the introduction of the GST, a receipt for goods with a combined total over A$300 is eligible for a refund of any GST paid upon exiting the country with refunds claimed at a TRS (Tourist Refund Scheme) counter at the airport. The advantage of this arrangement is that goods purchased 60 days prior to departure may be freely used within Australia prior departure as long as they are carried in hand luggage and presented when making a refund claim, or shown to customs officials before being checked in as baggage. This does not extend to consumable goods such as food and beverages, or any services such as plane tickets or hotel room charges.

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    This has very little to do with the question I actually asked. Feb 1, 2017 at 23:28

The states were supposed to abolish stamp duty on houses, but they didnt and considering it is a % of a house price and more expensive houses attract a higher % they have had a lot more money than before. Most of it has been used to push up public servant salaries and to employ a lot more people.

  • 2
    Please add a source to support your answer.
    – JJJ
    Sep 28, 2018 at 1:22

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