RE: Greens ‘Vacancy Tax’ Policy

In response to The Greens’ ‘Vacancy Tax’ policy, released today, the following response can be attributed to the Property Council’s Queensland Executive Director, Chris Mountford:

“The proposal is dangerously simplistic as it assumes that adding a new tax to property will somehow make properties cheaper.”

“The underlying assumption seems to be that the motive of developers and investors is to deliberately leave properties vacant, rather than sell or lease them to generate income.”

“The Greens’ guesstimate of vacancy levels across Brisbane does not reflect reality.

 “As proposed, the policy would be unworkable. Official capital improved property values are not recorded in Queensland and the costs for administering and policing this policy would be astronomical.”

“The policy proposal poses significant more questions than answers.”

“Vacancy is really a red-herring in the housing affordability debate. A more effective response from policy-makers would be to focus in on supply constraints and property taxes to ensure Brisbane never faces a Sydney-style affordability crisis.”  

“Tax is no different to any other input cost in development or construction. Whether its bricks, concrete, tiles or tax – all of these costs end up having to be passed onto the home buyer if a housing project is going to be viable.” 

“When it comes to housing affordability, tax is the problem - not the solution.”