Property industry welcomes Tax Review to assess property taxes against housing affordability

Australia’s largest industry has welcomed the commitment of the Turnbull Government to assess any changes to Australia’s property taxes against their impact on housing supply and demand.

“Better functioning cities are a key way we can drive productivity growth in Australia”, said Ken Morrison, Property Council of Australia Chief Executive.

“Three-quarters of our national income is generated in our cities.

“Minister Greg Hunt in today’s speech is right to acknowledge the impact of property taxes on housing supply and demand. Government property taxes are impacting housing affordability across Australia – this is hurting first home buyers, families wanting to expand and older people wanting to downsize.

“Modelling undertaken by Deloitte for the Property Council has found that stamp duty is holding back growth, holding back jobs and making our cities less efficient. 

“Tackling stamp duty, and its runaway growth, is a real way we can have meaningful tax reform, and at the same time, make our cities more efficient and housing more affordable. 

Mr Morrison said the Government was right in identifying the impact of planning laws on congestion and productivity.

“All too often, federal, state and local governments have been working against each other.

“The Minister is right to say we need more housing in areas where we have high job densities and we need more jobs in residential areas. Planning laws too often accentuate congestion rather than alleviate it.

“Congestion costs are heading towards $1 billion a week – and improving our major cities is a way we can reduce these costs and improve national productivity.

“I hope we can see progress on the environmental measures outlined by the Minister today.

Mr Morrison said the property industry was waiting to see more details on the Government’s Value Capture proposals.

“Property owners already pay stamp duty, land tax, and capital gains tax, and we are wary of Government adding a Value Capture Tax on top of them.  The danger for the Government is that it might end up with its own version of a VCT - Very Cross Taxpayers.

“Property is Australia’s largest industry and the Government should be wary of new taxes that stifle investment, jobs and growth.”