The State Government plans to increase Stamp Duty fees by four per cent at a time when respected economists and real estate professionals have been calling for reforms that would see Stamp Duty abolished and labour market mobility increased
While mainland states offer additional incentives to first home buyers, on top of the Federal Government grant, and extra incentives to buy newly constructed homes, Lara Giddings’ government seems determined to accelerate Tasmania’s declining market by increasing costs and making moving more difficult for consumers.
Tasmanian first home buyers receive the lowest levels of assistance in Australia and this has contributed to falls in sales volumes of 20 per cent and, consequently, also government revenues from Stamp Duty.
By increasing Stamp Duty in a climate of low confidence, this government is likely to do nothing more than slow the market even further, collect less revenue, and make it harder for Tasmanians, who have lost their jobs, to move to where the jobs are.
The network has been calling for Stamp Duty reform, consistently, for several years. The Federal Government needs to deliver on the pre-GST promise of abolishing stamp duty or Australia’s soft property market will continue to tread water. We need more new housing stock to come onto the market, indirect costs to be reduced, and inefficient taxes such as stamp duty to be abolished – preferably all three!
Without a return to more normal levels of real estate construction and investment, both in Tasmania and the mainland, the rest of the economy just suffers. The wash-through effects of construction, property investment, renovations and home furnishings purchases are what keep retail afloat and people employed.
Posted from 111-113 Wilson Street, Burnie.