Taxes and Budgets

We all have a ‘love/hate’ relationship with tax.

We understand that our taxes pay for our roads, police, schools, defence, a social safety net and lay the foundations for a prosperous economy and a fair society.

But we also feel that the taxman’s hands are continually creeping deeper into our wallets.

Last week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released its yearly update on all federal, state and local taxes.

It confirmed what our industry knows – that governments are putting increasing emphasis on property taxes.

Last financial year, property taxes hit a record $52.5 billion – that’s up six per cent on the previous year and up a massive 56 per cent in five years. To give a sense of proportion, that’s equivalent to the combined budgets for Western Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory – and with plenty of change left over as well.

For our industry, you can add billions in company taxes and GST collections on top of those property-specific taxes.

We started the ‘budget season’ with the Victorian and NT budgets brought down yesterday (you can read more about these in Making News) and it follows with the federal budget next Tuesday.

We will keep you informed on what is brought down – our response is guided by the view that we must optimise the way governments spend the money earned by business and taxpayers, and at the same time, minimise its impacts on investment and economic growth.

Finally, this week Property Australia looks at the terrific work being undertaken by industry and the government in NSW in extracting, utilising and stockpiling the limited supply of sandstone in Sydney. Sandstone was once so plentiful, it was called freestone. Now it’s limited and its careful extraction is vital to preserving one of the most distinctive architectural features of Sydney for generations to come.