Victoria’s peak private school body says it was blindsided by the Andrews Government’s decision to impose a payroll tax on non-government schools.
Announced in the Victorian Budget on Tuesday, the measure will apply to roughly 110 of the state’s wealthiest high-fee private schools, who will now lose their payroll tax exemption from July 2024.
“It was made without consultation and is based on an arbitrary definition of a ‘high-fee’ school,” Green said in a statement on Tuesday.
“It is likely to have a damaging impact on the operations of many Independent schools, with the potential to disrupt the education of their students.”
The Victorian Government had defined a ‘high-fee’ school as one charging annual fees of more than $7,500, a definition that captures schools that charge fees in the mid-range.
Green said the latest decision assumes that all schools that charge more than $7,500 have the financial resources to weather the tax without cutting services or, alternatively, raising fees.
“Either course of action will be a major cause of concern for the growing number of parents who make significant financial sacrifices to send their children to an Independent school,” Green said.
“We’ll be seeking urgent talks with the government to establish the rationale – and to point out the implications – of this decision, which will require legislative change.”