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NSW Premier Bob Carr has accused some of the richest rugby league social clubs of being the most miserly when passing money on to their teams.
Mr Carr rubbished claims that NRL teams would suffer under his government's new gambling taxes, saying league clubs were not too generous in the first place. Under the new tax regime, to be phased in over seven years, clubs would pay up to 40 per cent tax on gaming profits once they hit $10 million.
Clubs NSW has suggested this would hurt rugby league teams, for which clubs are a major source of revenue. But Mr Carr today told parliament the amount some of the richest clubs paid their league teams was paltry.
"Let's take one club which had net gaming profits for the year ended November 30 of over $45 million, yet it allocated a mere $2.5 million to its NRL team," he said. "For the same period, another club had net gaming profit of over $23 million and spent a mere $2.8 million on its NRL team. It's a consistent pattern with others."
At the same time the clubs were overly generous to their executives, Mr Carr said, with some being paid up to $600,000 a year.
"These changed tax rates mean more money for public hospitals and public schools," he said.
Nonetheless, the Premier said two-thirds of clubs would pay no state tax or less than they previously paid, while the largest 490 clubs in the state would pay more tax but remain, on average, among the most lightly taxed clubs in Australia.