Misguided calls for foreign vacancy tax will stifle economic growth

 

Calls to introduce an additional tax on foreign investors with empty properties will make WA not competitive, stifling the State’s economic growth.

“There is no denying that the property market is weak and residential vacancy rates are high, but placing an extra tax burden on foreign investors will do nothing to drive the economy or reduce vacancies,” Property Council WA Executive Director Lino Iacomella said.

“In fact, most vacant investment properties are owned by West Australians.

“WA has the second lowest number of foreign investors in the country, second only to Darwin.  Any tax on foreign investors will not produce a significant amount of revenue and will encourage investors to look elsewhere.

“Introducing an inefficient tax will only deter much-needed investment in the State. As the property market booms in Sydney and Melbourne the WA government must do everything it can to incentivise both domestic and foreign investment in WA.

“The introduction of a vacancy tax will not only be a broken election promise of no new taxes, but will also undermine the government’s commitment to improving Asian engagement with WA.

“Implementing an additional tax during a weak market, makes no economic sense and has the potential to worsen WA’s financial standing.

“The Premier and his government have a responsibility to drive WA’s economic recovery, introducing prejudiced and inefficient taxes will only encourage investors to take their money elsewhere to the detriment of all West Australians.” Mr Iacomella said.

 

Media contact:  Lino Iacomella  |  M  0417 501 974   |   E  liacomella@propertycouncil.com.au