REIWA disappointed with Labor plan to tax foreign buyers

REIWA disappointed with Labor plan to tax foreign buyers

WA Labor will introduce a new property tax on foreign buyers if it wins the State Election next month.

By comparison, the State Government has committed to no new property taxes, not increasing current taxes, increasing the land tax threshold from $300,000 to $360,000 and introducing a transfer duty concession for seniors over 65 if re-elected.

REIWA is asking all political parties to reform property taxes if elected and is disappointed with Labor’s plan.

President Hayden Groves said he was surprised Labor had announced an additional tax on property without first consulting the industry in order to gain an understanding of the repercussions a tax like this would have on activity levels in an already soft market.

“Politicians view property taxes as an easy way to raise funds to pay for something else without proper regard for the impacts on the community,” he said.

“Introducing an additional 4 per cent residential property tax on foreign buyers is another example of politicians bleeding property for political point scoring.”

Currently, WA is one of the few states that do not tax foreigners for purchasing property.

Mr Groves said it was disappointing to see Labor blindly follow in the footsteps of east coast State Governments, where foreign investment was high, with no proper consideration to the impact it would have on the WA property market.

“Foreign investment in WA represents a very small proportion of the market, and this type of misguided policy will dampen the incentive for foreigners who are not permanent residents to locate and live in WA,” he said.

“In the longer term, the impact of this surcharge on foreign investment will be felt by tenants, who will bear the brunt of increased weekly rent prices due to lowered stock levels.”