Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) urged the government to remove the tax, suggesting that removing the property tax would contribute to the housing affordability crisis.
REIA suggested that the National Housing, Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) Stamp Duty: Benefits and Challenges report provides evidence that property taxation is one of the biggest barriers to housing affordability and still markets. efficient.
REIA President Adrian Kelly said families in all states and territories (except ACT) pay more stamp duty today than 20 years ago and that now is the time to take stamp duty reform seriously.
“Politicians cannot on the one hand complain about the affordability of housing; and on the other hand, let’s say we need this income from buyers and homeowners to fund public sector operations, ”Kelly said.
“The calls from the NSW government as reported by the Australian today – with federal governments to set up a productivity fund to push for stamp duty reform – are a sensible approach to make our federation competitive and launch this important reform for good.
“REIA renews our call to the Federal Financial Relations Board to take this issue seriously and nationally rather than simply shifting this responsibility to the states and territories.”
Mr Kelly explained that he was concerned that the supposed alternative form of property taxation (the introduction of property tax) might not be the right solution either.
He warned state governments should reconsider their focus on taxing Australian homes and households.
The report found that a household who bought a median-priced home in Sydney four times in the past 20 years would have paid more than 10 times the amount of tariffs than a household making just one purchase at the start of this period.
Victoria has the highest effective transfer tax rate on a median property, at around 5.4%, up from 4.2% in 2002.
Mr Kelly added that while the report concludes that consumers on the whole are paid more from property tax than a transfer fee, it must be done correctly and considered the lessons learned from the indirect consequences.
“ACT’s experience shows that the property tax scared off market investors and drastically reduced the amount of private rentals available.
“So if you want rents to stabilize, a broad-based tax or even a revision of the GST then shared equally by all sectors of the economy would be the best replacement that does not unfairly tax homes and households.” said Kelly.
“Alternatively, an opt-in approach to stamp duty payment, where the user chooses what to pay and when is another pragmatic approach. We applaud the NHFIC for paving the way for this conversation with evidence-based research. “