The Wine Equalisation Tax Rebate has been the subject of much debate in many forums across the nation. Riverland Wine (RLW) wrote to the Winemakers Federation (WFA) following regional consultations last October proposing a progressive withdrawal of the rebate over a period of five or six years and simultaneously directing the savings into more targeted marketing of Australian wine in all markets.
The rationale for this is that, in effect, the rebate is a subsidy and for that reason it will always be vulnerable to periodic review by those who pay the subsidy (the taxpayers). As a consequence, for those who are dependent on the subsidy as part of their bottom line, there is a continuing business risk from any such review.
It is a contentious topic. Albeit that the WFA has not adopted the Riverland Wine position, the federation is proposing a number of changes to the rebate that will change who can access it and for what products.
The Wine Grape Council of SA (WGCSA) is seeking your views including to what extent the proposed changes could impact on your business to help the council develop a response to the federation. WGCSA will appreciate your feedback through a brief online survey. It will take about 10 minutes to complete and your answers are anonymous. Note: Even if you have never claimed a WET Rebate it is important to inform the WGCSA of your opinion on this matter.
As an incentive WGCSA has 20 DVDs of the 2013 Russell Crowe documentary Red Obsession about red wine and China to giveaway in a prize draw. The survey can be undertaken online here, including via smart phones. The closing date for the survey is Friday, May 9.