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Property taxes more than doubled over last decade: REIQ

by Adrian Suljanovic10 minute read

The institute has called for the Queensland government to “wean” off property tax.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland’s (REIQ) chief executive, Antonia Mercorella, has urged for the reset of reasonable parameters of property tax, after “astonishing” new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed the extent of property tax revenue in the state.

According to the data, stamp duty accounts for 25 per cent of the tax base for the Queensland government, compared to 20 per cent ten years ago.

In addition, property taxes – which include stamp duty and land tax – rose by 133 per cent over the last decade, equating to an additional $4.2 billion per year.

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Mercorella said: “Over the past five years, Queensland has recorded the highest growth in property taxes of any state.”

“Even with Victoria increasing taxes on property such as windfall gains tax in that period, Queensland is still taking the cake for escalating tax take.

“Despite record revenue and announcements relating to housing, it’s insulting and ironic that very little is being reinvested back into building social housing – with only 56 completed last year, the lowest on record and the lowest of any state.”

While property taxes may target home buyers and property investors, Mercorella said they still have a flow-on impact on the wider economy.

“Over the last 12 months, Queensland had the lowest proportion of first home buyers of all mainland states for all purchases and owner-occupiers,” she said.

“Stamp duty is a financial hurdle that can add years to home buying timelines, keeping people in the rental market for longer, and also deters empty nesters from downsizing, creating utilisation inefficiencies in our existing housing stock.

“While ongoing and escalating land tax costs are inevitably partially passed on to renters in order to ensure investments still stack up and remain sustainable.”

Mercorella called out the state government’s “unhealthy addiction to new highs” of property revenue.

“The REIQ continues to call for the indexation of land tax – the threshold has been set at $600,000 since 2007, so it’s well overdue to readjust the value at which land tax applies.

“While we’ll keep advocating for stamp duty to be completely overhauled, a sensible interim measure would be to lift the stamp duty concessional threshold for first home buyers to $800,000 to reflect modern-day prices.

“We understand that thresholds need to be set, but equally, there needs to be a mechanism in place to review them.”

[RELATED: Mortgagors to ‘bear the burden’ from federal budget]

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