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Property players to act on tax review

REAL Estate Institute of WA president Greg Rossen (right) says the State Tax Review announced by the State Government last week provides a “once in a generation” opportunity to deliver real tax reform. “If we miss this opportunity we face a huge tax problem once the economic cycle turns. Future governments will not have the easy option of increasing property taxes to fund budget problems,” Mr Rossen said. “There is no more room for future increases in rates of property taxes like stamp duty. The message we get from the marketplace is that homebuyers will not tolerate higher rates of stamp duty. “Past tax reviews have only reconfirmed existing tax arrangements. If this tax review is to succeed it must tackle the serious issue of making state tax revenue less reliant on homebuyers and property investors. “Each year 60,000 West Australians purchase a home and there are some 100,000 individuals and organisations that pay land tax.” The Urban Development Institute of Australia Western Australia division also confirmed it would be seeking a place on the reference group advising Treasurer Eric Ripper, and would call on the State Government to abolish stamp duty on residential mortgages and reduce stamp duty rates relating to all property transactions. “The property industry will play its role in lobbying the treasurer for a fairer deal for all West Australian property owners as part of the recently announced review of taxation,” UDIA executive director Marion Fulker said. “It is incumbent on the big end of town to act as a voice for all property owners and we will be playing hardball in seeking a fairer taxation system.” “Each tax or duty that is added to a property transaction has a far reaching impact. “Affordability in the residential sector is an issue and unfair and indiscriminate taxes play their role in affecting the price of a home and therefore overall homeownership rates.” Ms Fulker said that, while WA remained among the highest taxing states in Australia with regard to property, the economy was one of the strongest. It was, therefore, time for WA businesses and private property owners to receive some relief from unnecessary taxes and duties, she said.

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