• Increasing property taxes won’t fix WA’s budget woes

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    The property industry is calling on the WA Government to not burden West Australians with unfair taxes, as a means of budget repair, following yet another disappointing GST carve up.

    REIWA President Hayden Groves said while the Institute understands the WA Government is facing another difficult budget, relying on the property industry to prop up state finances will do very little to ease the state’s fiscal pressures.

    “WA already has one of the highest rates of land tax in the country. Any further increases would deter much needed investment, driving up rent prices and pricing the most vulnerable out of the rental market.

    “The property market has been weak for some time. We are beginning to see some green shoots of recovery, but increasing taxes could jeopardise WA’s economic bounce back.

    “Access to affordable and appropriate housing is still one of the more challenging issues facing West Australians. Whether it be first home owners finding their feet in the market or seniors looking to right-size into more manageable accommodation, the WA budget should outline key reforms to open doors for those that need it most,” Mr Groves said.

    In its pre-budget submission, REIWA has called on the State Government to introduce measures that will improve housing affordability for all West Australians including;

    • Re-introduce the First Home Owner Grant of $3,000 for buyers of established home of less than $430,000.
    • Introduce a transfer duty concession for seniors ‘right-sizing’.
    • Commit to no increases in property taxes, or changes to thresholds to either transfer duty or land tax.

    “In the long term a complete tax review is needed to ensure taxes are being utilised as efficiently as possible. REIWA recommends a report into phasing out transfer duty in favour of a broader-based land tax.

    “Safe and suitable housing is intrinsic to the success of local communities and the WA Government should be doing everything it can to ensure access to home ownership is a reality for everyone.

    “Now is not the time to be burdening property with additional taxes,” Mr Groves said.

    View REIWA’s 2018-19 pre-budget submission.

    For more information, visit our Advocacy page.