The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) is satisfied that the current state government has given its word not to add any new taxes or raise existing ones should they be re-elected on March 11.
REIWA president Hayden Groves said the commitment put forward by the Colin Barnett Liberal government would be a welcome relief for the state’s home buyers and property investors.
“For too long, there has been an over-reliance by governments on property to help rectify budget deficits. We are incredibly pleased to hear the Barnett Government commit to leaving state property taxes alone, despite the tough fiscal position they are facing,” Groves said.
The state government has also announced they would lift the payroll tax threshold to $900,000 on next January 1, and increase the land tax lowest threshold from $300,000 to $360,000 if re-elected.
“The increase in the payroll tax threshold from $850,000 to $900,000 will benefit many small and medium sized enterprises across WA.
“Most of our members are small business owners and this increase will help them to grow their businesses, which is a welcome relief given the challenging market conditions the industry is facing.
“For those small businesses nearing the existing $850,000 threshold, this will give them an incentive to hire additional staff members – a positive for the WA labour market,” Groves said.
As part of its state election campaign, REIWA is advocating for four key policy reforms, including no increases in state property taxes, and for land tax aggregation rules to be abolished.
“While we would have liked a commitment from the Liberal Government to abolish land tax aggregation rules, the improvement in the land tax threshold from $300,000 to $360,000 will make a difference to property investors and will provide greater incentive for West Australians to invest in property or buy another.
“We will continue to pursue the abolishment of land tax aggregation rules. Current rules discourage investment and unfairly penalise investors for owning multiple properties. Abolishing land tax aggregation rules will benefit the economy in the long run, with the revenue generated from the lift in sales activity, ultimately cancelling out any short-term losses,” Groves said.
Groves also welcomed the initiative on the state government’s plans to commit $4 million over the next two years to a new digital literacy program for small businesses with up to 50 employees.
“This is a fantastic initiative for small businesses. The real estate industry, in particular, is continually moving further and further into the digital space, and we welcome the benefits and innovation a policy like this would bring for the industry and wider community,” Groves added.