Wellington Scoop

Billboard, supporting capital gains tax, removed from CBD building

PHoto: Palaver Media

Debate over tax reform and support for a capital gains tax took an unexpected turn at the corner of Taranaki and Ghuznee Streets today, when a billboard was taken down without any warning.

Tax Justice Aotearoa New Zealand had booked the space until 3 May.

The organisation is seeking clarification on information it has received that a decision to dismantle the billboard was taken unilaterally by the building owner.

Meanwhile a petition launched on Monday 8 April by TJANZ in favour of capital gains taxation has attracted more than 2100 signatures at https://www.change.org/p/tell-jacinda-we-want-a-capital-gains-tax-it-s-time-to-join-the-modern-world


When they launched the petition, Tax Justice Aotearoa NZ spokespersons Paul Barber and Louise Delany said: “Our position is simply that the existing tax system is unfair and that the Government needs to take direction from the options presented by the Tax Working Group to fix it. Along with other supporting organisations, we believe that the ‘silent majority’ of ordinary communities and workers have been at risk of being drowned out by vested interests that are resisting tax reform.

”As responsible citizens in an open democracy we are committed to drawing public attention to the fundamentally important role that a wealth tax can play to ensure fairness in the tax system – as is the common practice across other developed OECD countries including Australia. The Tax Working Group – after much sifting of evidence and debate – concluded that a tax on capital income was the right choice for modern New Zealand – and this is supported by the substantial arguments that have been put forward in favour of such a tax by experts like Tim Hazledine of Auckland University and Alison Pavlovich of Massey University. Fairness is the Kiwi way. Now is the time for a capital gains tax”.

News from New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is investigating the disappearance of pro-capital gains tax Tax Justice Aotearoa’s billboard on the corner of Taranaki and Ghuznee Streets in Wellington.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Because the pro-CGT campaign is funded by taxpayers via the Public Health Association, the Taxpayers’ Union considers this to be potential theft or destruction of taxpayer property, and is thus launching an investigation on behalf of taxpayers.”

“Unfortunately, it’s difficult to narrow down a list of subjects. Many Wellingtonians would have found the idea of a pro-tax billboard on a building named ‘Liberty Apartments’ offensive. And Wellington is New Zealand’s creative capital, meaning the sizeable graphic design community were apoplectic over the eight different styles of text towering over Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.”

“Some amateur detectives have pointed the finger at us. We deny responsibility. I have checked with our interns and none of them have the billboard. We have also contacted the building owner, who has assured us his company has nothing to do with the takedown.”

“At this point in the investigation our lead suspect would be Tax Justice Aotearoa themselves, who have benefited with some media coverage. But with only $15,000, how are they affording their own 40-foot crane? It’s all so puzzling.”

No decision on capital gains tax