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Residential property taxes need overhaul to unlock housing supply (ACT)

Media release

Residential property taxes need overhaul to unlock housing supply (ACT)

Media release
“The 2024/25 ACT budget has continued the phase out of stamp duty that HIA has long called for, however, the budget papers show that this is happening nowhere near quick enough considering the additional land tax and rates being collected.

“The housing industry has been a strong supporter of the ACT Government’s plan to phase out stamp duty and replace with more predictable and efficient taxes,” said Greg Weller, HIA Executive Director ACT/Sthn NSW.

“Stamp duty discourages people from moving for employment, is a disincentive to downsize and make better use of existing housing stock and is an impediment to home ownership.

“However, the increases in general rates and land tax over the forward estimates far outstrip the corresponding reduction in stamp duty.

“The ACT Government forecasts to collect $258 million more in 2027/28 in revenue from general rates and land tax compared to 2023/24. However, stamp duty is only forecast to fall by $30 million over this period.

“The other tax that must go is the new dwelling killer, the Lease Variation Charge (LVC) tax.

“This housing tax is the most commonly cited reason that the feasibility of projects won’t stack up – particularly for the failing dual occupancy reform in RZ1 and for ‘missing middle’ low rise multi-residential dwellings. 

“But in aggregate, it actually doesn’t bring a lot to the table at budget time.

“It is an incredibly inefficient tax, as it puts upwards of $50,000 on new homes yet it only brings in around 3.2% of total property taxes. If the ACT Government really wanted to kickstart housing, it could wipe out both these taxes in the next four years and still be revenue neutral as it has promised this reform would be.

“Ahead of this year’s ACT election, parties and candidates need to put these taxes under the microscope if they are serious on addressing housing affordability and increasing housing supply in the Territory,” concluded Mr Weller. 

For more information please contact:

Greg Weller

Executive Director - ACT/Southern NSW
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