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Stamp Duty ‘Switch’ to Boost Housing Affordability – NFP

5 April 2016 at 9:59 pm
Lina Caneva
A partnership report by business and Not for Profit peak bodies has called for a switch from stamp duty to a remodelled land tax to boost housing affordability and jobs.

Lina Caneva | 5 April 2016 at 9:59 pm


Stamp Duty ‘Switch’ to Boost Housing Affordability – NFP
5 April 2016 at 9:59 pm

A partnership report by business and Not for Profit peak bodies has called for a switch from stamp duty to a remodelled land tax to boost housing affordability and jobs.

Making the switch from stamp duty to land tax would not only lower the cost of housing and reduce rents, but could also boost Gross State Product by more than 1 per cent and create up to 10,000 jobs, according to a new report from the New South Wales Council of Social Service (NCOSS) and the NSW Business Chamber.

Prepared by KPMG for the NSW Business Chamber and NCOSS, the report, Taking on Tax: Reforming NSW Property Taxes, outlines the benefits to the NSW economy of abolishing stamp duty on property transfers and gradually introducing a broad-based land tax.

The report said that in 2015/16, conveyancing stamp duty was expected to generate more than $8.6 billion for the NSW Government with a considerable share of this coming from residential property transactions.

“This is double the average received in the previous decade with the level of stamp duty
payable on the median Sydney house price now more than $40,000, around twice what it would have been a decade earlier,” the report said.

“As broad and diverse stakeholders, the switch appeals to each of us for different reasons; but each agree that it is essential that stamp duty and land tax remain an active part of any conversation about tax reform.”

Under the switch, property owners would be subject to a redesigned land tax, but would no longer pay stamp duty when purchasing a property. While NSW already has a land tax system in place, the current system is “narrow” and does not apply to owner occupied land.

Under the switch a “broad” land tax would apply to owner occupied land in addition to those who already pay it. The switch could be designed as “budget neutral” so that it could be implemented independently of decisions about the revenue and expenditure needs of the government.

NCOSS CEO Tracy Howe said the new modelling showed that the reform would create new jobs, boost economic growth, and most importantly, improve housing affordability.

“Our state and federal tax systems are a real and significant factor in the housing affordability crisis in NSW,” Howe said.

Howe said while improving housing affordability in NSW would require a number of strategies, switching from stamp duty to land tax would make a significant difference.

“It would remove the disincentive for people to buy and sell property, making it easier for households to move as their needs change over time, enabling better use of the existing housing stock and reducing the upfront costs of home ownership,” she said.

“It would also place downward pressure on rents over time as investors seek less return on their investment to cover their costs.

“At a time when housing affordability is reaching crisis levels the NSW Government should be looking seriously at this proposal.”

Howe said she was proud to be part of a partnership between business and civil society to come up with solutions to some of the state’s toughest problems.

“This report shows the switch to land tax has widespread support and that support is growing,” she said.

“While it would be a big change for NSW – and there must to be more work down on how the switch would be best implemented – this report makes it clear it’s a change NSW needs.”

Read the full Taking on Tax report.

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

Tags : NCOSS, NSW,


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  • chris says:

    so slug the old people again who have retired and on the pension

  • stever says:

    Removing stamp duty will not reduce prices or rent.
    The purchase price will increase to accommodate the increase spending power of the buyer.
    Whoever wrote this article does not understand the most basic demand/supply curves from high school economics.
    KPMG should actually be ashamed of themselves for putting their name to this kind of research.
    It most likely has been sponsored by the Real Estate Institute.
    The modelling may have actually been done in the Lego Modelling simulator.

  • Graham says:

    What about those who don’t want/need to sell. Paid the appropriate stamp duty decades ago! We are already paying significant amounts in Council land rates for no definable return. In this scenario we would be hit with another set of land rates!!!
    As usual .. a double whammy at the soft target!

  • Andrew says:

    and who covers the costs of this “switch” the tax payer ? so how is that such a bright idea ?

  • Gavin R. Putland says:

    If you’re a home owner, you don’t have to pay stamp duty when you relocate. You can let your old address to tenants, and rent your new address. Google “How to avoid stamp duty when you move house” (with the quotes).

  • Andrew says:

    This seems like a desperate attempt to save housing and allow the rich to avoid losing their negative gearing… because we really should if the world had any morals be talking about negative gearing gone .. not talking about stamp duty .. its fairly conformed now politicians are evil most have negative geared homes.


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