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REIWA hopeful stamp duty on the WA election agenda

The REIWA has welcomed the West Australian Liberal Party’s commitment to a state tax reform, in the hope the removal of stamp duty may be on their agenda.

REIWA President Damian Collins said stamp duty is the single biggest hurdle for prospective home owners and a reform is urgently needed to help recover from the impacts of Covid-19. data also indicates home owners are holding onto their properties for longer than 20 years, with REIWA noting that’s likely due to the hefty costs of stamp duty.

“We need a tax system that will help remove barriers to mobility and home ownership, whilst also providing a smarter model to deliver more consistent government revenue in the long run,” Mr Collins said.

From an income perspective for the government, property transactions are expected to be lower for some time due to the impacts of Covid-19.

“This means the proportion of revenue the government generates from stamp duty is likely to be at the lowest levels in at least 15 years,” Mr Collins said.

“According to Deloitte, removal of stamp duty could lead to a 60 per cent uplift in transactions, generating an additional $1 billion to the economy. There has never been a better time to take this step.”

For a property worth $500,000, stamp duty is estimated to approximately cost the owner an additional $18,000 and with many buyers including this cost as part of their mortgage, this is a significant deterrent for many West Aussies from moving home.

“Over a 20-year period, not everyone will have the same need for their property as they did when they purchased it, which is why people need to be able to right size their properties to suit their lifestyle purposes, without being taxed a large amount of money to do so,” Mr Collins said.

“With a broad-based tax system, payments will be made over a longer period, allowing those who need to move the ability to do so while ensuring those who have paid stamp duty are not unduly hit by the replacement tax.

“With other states looking at stamp duty removal in detail, WA needs to ensure it is not left behind and should lead the way with a state tax reform.”

REIWA looks forward to working with the Liberal Party on developing the policy for the reform and encourages the McGowan Government to also commit to removing stamp duty.

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