REIQ chief accuses Qld Govt of 'milking the property cash cow' again

THE Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) is accusing the Queensland Government of "dipping into the piggy bank of property owners yet again" with a new land tax regime which "is a slap in the face to the very sector that is propping up the economy".

The REIQ's reaction has come off the back of the Queensland Government pocketing soaring stamp duty revenue with $5.38bn in transfer revenue this financial year, as announced by State Treasurer Peter Dick. It will increase overall from $16.53bn to $19.93bn over the forward estimates.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said disappointingly the government had not consulted with relevant property stakeholder groups on this new land tax regime, which was "the wrong move at the wrong time". Under the Treasurer's announcement, interstate property investors with multiple landholdings across different states would have their annual land tax assessment based on the worth of all their land, rather than just the worth of their Queensland property. However, primary places of residence would continue to be exempt. 

“This treatment of property investors as an endless money pit is outrageous – the government is raking in a huge stamp duty windfall, then relying on private investors to provide the lion’s share of housing supply, and now they’re slapping investors yet again with new taxes,” Ms Mercorella said.

“How can the government possibly justify slugging property investors with tax for land they own that isn’t even within our state borders? It’s utter nonsense that there’s a 'loop hole' to close.

“From a practical standpoint, it’s also baffling to understand how on earth they intend to get this data in order to double-tax investors who are already paying this tax elsewhere.”

Ms Mercorella said that property investors were tired of being the ATM for the State and given the flagged second wave of tenancy rental reforms, many could decide to vote with their money.

“There is no other state or territory that takes this approach, and by treating property investors with contempt like this time and time again, investors may very well pull up stumps,” Ms Mercorella said.

“All this is doing is deterring people from investing in Queensland and instead, opting to invest where no multi-jurisdictional land tax applies.

“For those not scared off from investing in Queensland, and current investors brave enough to stick around, this tax will make their holding costs more expensive and the logical consequence of that is that rent goes up.

“In the midst of a rental crisis, it beggars belief that this would be the lever the government pulls. It shows the government lacks the ability to think outside the square and come up with alternative and innovative solutions to find new revenue streams.

“You only have to look at the timing of this bombshell legislative reform to see the government is clearly trying to sneak this in under the radar at a time most people have clocked off for the year.”



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