Solid budget, paid for by property owners

The Property Council has welcomed the 2016-17 State Budget saying it invests decisively in the growth management challenge.

Victorian Property Council Deputy Executive Director, Asher Judah, said this budget ticks all the boxes on setting up Victoria for success, but fails to address the Government’s unsustainable dependency on property taxation.

“We applaud the State Government’s decision to fully fund Metro Rail as it will provide business certainty for Victoria’s builders, transport designers and infrastructure consultants,” said Mr Judah. We look forward to examining the full funding arrangements of this critical project in due course.
“The Property Council welcomes the Government’s strong commitment to growth management through their billion dollar investment in heavy rail construction and the bold expansion of Victoria’s toll road network.

“The Government’s investment in the Mernda line and the rail duplications for Hurstbridge and Deer Park to Melton will help bridge the infrastructure divide between Melbourne’s established and growth area suburbs.

“$25.5 million for modernising Victoria’s antiquated planning system through Smart Planning will boost processing times and reduce red tape. Moreover, the $30 million injection into Living Heritage Grants will ensure Melbourne’s best buildings are given the care they genuinely deserve.
“The creation of Service Victoria is a bold efficiency and red tape initiative which is strongly backed by the property industry. This reform will drive down costs and make government easier to interact with.

“Providing the business community with employment related tax relief is a must and this budget delivers. The property industry will welcome the $286 million in payroll tax cuts.

“The Property Council is deeply worried about the Government’s unwillingness to deal with its property tax addiction. The time has come to introduce a ‘local government style cap’ on state property tax increases.

“Land tax is up 28 per cent, foreign investor taxes have been tripled and stamp duty is forecast to exceed $6 billion dollars for the first time. Melbourne cannot expect to remain Australia’s most competitive city for property investment when its property tax haul is surging.

“Another area which concerns the property industry is the stockpiling of Growth Area Infrastructure Contributions (GAIC). Property developers are paying more than their fair share. It is time for the Government to provide full disclosure on where the money is being spent.

“The State Budget enjoys a triple A credit rating due to the ongoing vibrancy of the property industry.

“In light of the healthy status of the Victorian State Budget, we strongly encourage the Government to engage with the property industry on a plan to reduce land tax.”

-ENDS-

Asher Judah, Victorian Deputy Executive Director – 0499 841 715