Friday, June 15, 2012

Newman Targets Property Owners for Tax Increases

Any further financial imposts on property investors is likely to see them pull up stumps and sell their rental properties, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ).

The release of today’s audit on the Queensland Government’s finances shows property owners, and investors in particular, have once again been earmarked to financially salvage the State’s fiscal woes.  The audit has outlined potential revenue-raising measures including: imposing a $100 levy on all property owners; reducing or removing the concession on land tax; applying a premium transfer duty rate; and increasing the landholder acquisition duty rate.

Acting REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said property owners were sick and tired of having to bail out the government.  ‘‘Property owners - and investors specifically - seem to forever be targeted by all levels of government when they are short of cash, whether it is through higher council rates, one-off levies or higher rates of stamp duty,’’ she said.  ‘‘The additional legislative and compliance obligations on property investors over recent years, coupled with weaker returns on investment, has resulted in many opting to sell their rental properties.’’

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows the number of investors active in the Queensland property market has halved in the last five years.  Ms Mercorella said this number was likely to decline even further if investors were slugged with additional costs.
“We are currently starting to see the impact of this reduced investor activity with vacancy rates tightening and rents increasing across the State. If more investors left the rental market, then this situation would undoubtedly worsen,” she said.  “If land tax thresholds are reduced or removed, the added costs would put an end to the glimmers of renewed investor activity we have seen in recent months and would also likely be passed onto tenants via increased rents.  Also the unit and townhouse market in particular is yet to see investors return significantly with the additional costs associated with this type of housing deterring investors.”

Newman was unfriendly to property owners as Mayor of Brisbane -- he substantially increased rates for apartment owners, and did nothing to reduce spending by Council or the number of council administration workers.

1 comment:

Southlands Tsar said...

It takes a special breed of lobbyist to cry poor whilst pocketing $4.8billion in taxpayer subsidies through negative gearing. One day the ride will end