REIWA slams potential levy on investors as ‘short sighted’ and ‘irresponsible’

REIWA councillor Suzanne Brown has slammed talk of an investor levy.
REIWA councillor Suzanne Brown has slammed talk of an investor levy.

REIWA has slammed the State Government and said any levy on investors to help raise State revenue would be short sighted and irresponsible.

Investors could face a $270 levy as part of the Government’s attempts to fix the budget, but REIWA councillor Suzanne Brown said it was disappointing the industry had not been consulted on any potential policy change.

“The private rental market is crucial to the provision of rental accommodation in WA, and this levy (would) only increase the cost of owning a rental property and make it a less viable investment option,” she said.

“With vacancy rates sitting at an all-time high of 6.5 per cent, WA investors are already doing it tough.

“Slapping them with an additional cost in an already soft market is a knee-jerk reaction that will do more harm than good.”

The State Government has neither confirmed, nor ruled out, the levy, however a spokesperson for Treasurer Ben Wyatt said the levy was just one of a number of proposals being considered by the Government, and all options would go through the normal budgetary process, with any changes to be announced by July 1.

REIWA understands the levy would be on water rates and apply to investors with a gross rental value of $24,000 or more.

“We appreciate the State’s fiscal position is challenging and some difficult decisions will need to be made, but the Government should be cautious of targeting property investors,” Ms Brown said.

“Not only will it affect owners, but this has the potential to hit tenants if the cost of the levy is passed on.”

Ms Brown said housing affordability was already a significant concern in WA and applying additional costs to the property market was not the answer and would only exacerbate the issue.

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