UDIA WA and Master Builders outline their requests for State Budget

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA) and Master Builders have added their wishlists to REIWA’S ahead of this week’s State Budget.

UDIA WA wants the introduction of a broad based land tax system to replace the current stamp duty and land tax.

“Stamp Duty negatively affects housing affordability and is a significant barrier to Western Australians’ ability to move to a new home that is more appropriate to their needs, such as retirees wanting to downsize or families’ upsizing,” chief executive Allison Hailes said.

“Phasing (it) out and establishing a broad based land tax system, as they have in place in the ACT, would distribute the tax burden more equitably and provide the State Government with a more consistent revenue stream which can be invested into the state’s growth consistently over the term of government.

“This change would facilitate household mobility, enabling people to move between different homes that are more appropriate to their changing needs.”

Allison Hailes

A broad based land tax system would apply to all home owners, rather than targeting those that are purchasing a new home.

“We are now calling on the government to reform the state’s property taxes to provide long term sustainability of tax revenues,” Ms Hailes said.

“While the government considers this review, there should not be any increases to current stamp duty or land tax rates.”

The UDIA WA submission also called for the cancellation of the introduction of the foreign owner duty surcharge or ‘foreign buyer’s tax’ slated for January 2019.

“The WA property market is in the very early stages of recovery and, given foreign investment in the property market is integral to the success of the wider WA economy, we are urging the government to reconsider the imposition of a tax that directly detracts from investment in WA property,” Ms Hailes said.

Master Builders hoped the budget would support the building industry, which was in a fragile state, but showing early signs of recovery.

“As an industry, we have high hopes that this year’s State Budget will produce a low deficit, reduce debt and stimulate economic growth,” director Michael McLean said.

“At a time when WA’s economy is languishing, but on the road to recovery, any efforts to increase home ownership and employment opportunities should be supported.”

Michael McLean.

Master Builders has already requested a $5000 boost to the First Home Owner Grant for people who want to build homes in regional WA.

Its other budget recommendations include:

  • Maintaining the current KeyStart criteria and benefits.
  • Maintaining stamp duty concessions for all home buyers.
  • Providing incentive payments to encourage more local councils to merge.
  • Maintaining the existing landfill levy to reduce dumping and provide incentives to builders to recycle.
  • Increasing the threshold for payroll tax.

Master Builders commended the State Government on the move to extend the Construction Training Fund levy to civil engineering construction projects in the resources sector and the launch of the WA Industry Link – a key component of the WA Jobs Act that aimed to help local businesses secure work on government contracts.

“Master Builders fully endorses the government’s plans to create more jobs, including more traineeships and apprenticeships, by supporting local businesses to bolster the economy,” Mr McLean said.

“We are hopeful that the positive initiatives we’ve seen so far provide an indication of what’s to come in the budget.”

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