Industry levies – sector specific taxes – are proliferating in Australia. There were four industry levies in 1960, 19 in 1980 and today there are more than 240.
Levies now raise more than six times the revenue of Australian tariffs, cover a broader range of firms, but have received much less policy attention. There is no over-arching framework for understanding industry levies and little is known about their collective impact on productivity growth, industry behaviour, and the Australian economy.
This research paper provides a first stocktake of industry levies in Australia and sets out a framework and analysis of what levies are and how they operate, as well as guidance for policy makers on how to approach industry levies as an economic policy tool.