One cynical tax replaced by increase to another

The State Government’s decision to increase the foreign investor tax is a cynical exercise at a time when South Australia needs investment.

“The State Government needs to decide which message they want to send to investors: either South Australia is open to investment or it’s closed,” said SA Executive Director Daniel Gannon.

“We are either targeting investors or encouraging them to look at other jurisdictions with much stronger growth projections.

“Our local residential property market is not over-heating and we don't have high levels of foreign investment. In fact, we should do everything we can right now to target more investment, not less.

“This is a cynical and populist move that will harm South Australia’s investment reputation, not enhance it.

“If the Government thinks that replacing a punitive tax on banks with a populist tax on foreign investors is clever policy, they’re wrong. It’s bad policy that will have a lasting impact.

“We already boast the country’s most anti-competitive land tax regime, highest council rates, mainland Australia’s lowest population growth projections, and a reputation as a high taxing state.

“Only last year the Treasurer described taxes on foreign investors as ‘xenophobic,’ so what has changed since then?”

 

Background information

Property is South Australia’s largest private sector employer and biggest industry, accounting for 10.8% of the state’s economic activity (or $10.5 billion).

It builds prosperity by paying $4.4 billion in wages and salaries – one in six people draw their wage directly or indirectly from property – and one million South Australians have a stake in property through their super funds.

Property is the largest single industry contributor paying 56.6% of state taxes, local government rates, fees and charges.

 

Media contact: Daniel Gannon | E dgannon@propertycouncil.com.au