REIWA has welcomed Productivity Commission Chairman, Michael Brennan’s recommendation for state governments to abolish stamp duty and has strongly urged the Western Australian government to take action.
REIWA President Damian Collins said stamp duty was an inefficient tax and one of the biggest imposts to home ownership.
“Despite WA currently being the most affordable state in the nation, many still find themselves priced out of the market or unable to move homes due to the heavy tax burden. It is imperative that the single greatest barrier to housing affordability is removed.
“REIWA has been a vocal advocate for the abolishment of stamp duty and supports long term tax reform that aims to eliminate this tax and move to a broad-based land tax regime.
“There are a number of flow-on benefits from a land-based tax regime. It would allow for greater housing mobility across the community. Households could locate closer to employment and activity centres, thus reducing congestion. Housing mobility is presently stymied by the current stamp duty regime,” Mr Collins said.
Transactional activity has declined significantly over recent years in WA, with the number of annual property sales falling from over 71,000 in 2013 to less than 40,000 in 2018 – the lowest level of transactions since 1990.
“Significantly fewer property sale transactions has meant significantly less stamp duty revenue for the WA Government. By abolishing stamp duty altogether, the cost of property taxes would be spread across many years creating a steady stream of reliable income for state and territory governments,” Mr Collins said.