Stamp duty ripe for abolition
A new push to reform taxes – including a switch from stamp duties to more broad-based measures such as land tax – has been welcomed by the nation’s housing industry.
The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) National says the abolition of stamp duty should serve as a cornerstone of any tax reform agenda.
“Stamp duty is one of the most inefficient taxes in our economy and acts as a substantial barrier to home ownership,” said UDIA National Executive Director Connie Kirk.
“Stamp duty hurts people trying to enter the housing market, families moving into bigger houses as they grow and seniors looking to downsize later in life.
“It is a particularly punitive tax for first home buyers and adds to the challenge of saving for a deposit.
“State governments have become overly dependent on stamp duties to sustain their budgets, despite it being a volatile tax that ebbs and flows with housing cycles.
“We appreciate any substantial tax reform is a long-haul exercise, but it is time for governments to start planning for a switch from stamp duties to more broad-based measures such as land tax.
“An overhaul of property taxes is well overdue given the excessive burden carried by the industry and homebuyers.
“Governments can also seize the opportunity to reform other inefficient and inequitable taxes such as the plethora of infrastructure charges that get built into the cost of a new home.”