REIWA submits State Budget wishlist, warns against increased taxes

REIWA President Hayden Groves doesn't want his industry shouldering an unfair burden in the State Budget. Photo: iStock
REIWA President Hayden Groves doesn't want his industry shouldering an unfair burden in the State Budget. Photo: iStock

THE Real Estate Institute of WA has cautioned the State Government against targeting the property sector with increased taxes.

In its state pre-budget submission, the industry body has recommended Treasurer Ben Wyatt instead introduce incentives for first-home buyers of established properties and seniors over the age of 65 to help raise much-needed funds for the state.

“While we appreciate everyone has a role to play in helping bring the budget back to surplus, no one industry should be targeted,” REIWA president Hayden Groves said.

Mr Groves added this was not the time to consider raising property taxes, particularly in the current market, which continued to experience challenging conditions.

“The slowdown in the resources sector has had a massive impact on the WA economy and property market,” he said.

“We’ve seen sales activity continue to trend downwards with transactions approximately half of what they were a decade ago.

“That’s a lot of lost transfer duty revenue for the government.”

REIWA’s submission also urges the McGowan Government not to increase transfer duty rates or change the thresholds, make no changes to rates or thresholds for land tax, and undertake a state tax review.

Mr Groves said current state taxes, in particular transfer duty, were a hindrance to buyers moving within the property market.

“We encourage the State Government to commit to making housing more accessible and affordable for all West Aussies,” he said.

“Whilst wholesale tax reform is difficult and not practical now, the conversation should be had with the public about how to reform taxes, and the Government should undertake a state tax review to further the debate.”

Mr Groves said REIWA’s recommendations were aimed at helping increase the levels of activity in the established residential market.

“We understand the State Government is in a difficult position when it comes to the State’s fiscal position,” he said.

“REIWA looks forward to continuing to work with the McGowan Government to help restore the budget back to surplus.”

For REIWA’s full submission, visit https://tinyurl.com/y9mzzg39.

REIWA’S FIVE KEY BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Maintain existing transfer duty exemption for first-home buyers at $430,000 and reintroduce the $3000 First Home Owners Grant for the purchase of existing dwellings.

2. Introduce a $10,000 concession on transfer duty for seniors over the age of 65 to encourage “rightsizing” (trading in an often larger home for something that better suits their current needs).

3. Undertake a state tax review to assess the viability of a shift to a broad-based land tax system that ultimately removes transfer duty.

4. No increase to transfer duty rates or change of thresholds.

5. Make no further changes to rates or thresholds for land tax.