REIQ slams Queensland Government’s land tax regime

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland has accused the Queensland State Government of ‘dipping into the piggy bank of property owners’, with its new land tax regime.

The REIQ said it was a slap in the face to the very sector that was propping up the economy.

The announcement comes off the back of soaring stamp duty revenue, with $5.38 billion in transfer revenue received this financial year.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said it was disappointing 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.

“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 ‘loophole’ 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 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,” she 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 are clearly trying to sneak this in under the radar at a time most people have clocked off for the year.”

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Nicole Madigan

Nicole Madigan is a freelance journalist for Elite Agent.