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New stamp duty publication released to monitor tax: HIA

29 August 2014

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has released the first edition of Stamp Duty Watch this week. The report will act as a regular barometer of stamp duty across Australia.

HIA Senior Economist Shane Garrett said the Winter 2014 edition of Stamp Duty Watch confirms how onerous the stamp duty burden is for the long-term financial wellbeing of ordinary homebuyers around Australia.

“The typical homebuyer in Victoria is hit with a $24,100 stamp duty bill, the highest in the country. In states like New South Wales and Western Australia, the average homeowner can look forward to handing almost $20,000 over to the state government before the removal truck even arrive,” he said.

“In all but two of the eight jurisdictions, stamp duty will set buyers back at least $15,000 on the median priced home. The burden of stamp duty is significant in all states and territories. With the exception of Queensland, the tax adds at least 3.0 per cent to the cost of the dwelling.”

REINSW has long been vocal on the disproportionate burden stamp duty places on homebuyers.

“REINSW opposes all state taxes including stamp duty. They are narrow-based and discriminatory. They also influence decisions that no tax should,” Mr McKibbin said.

“We have advocated for a sensible debate asking the government to consider the GST as a replacement for the revenue hole created by an abolition of all state taxes.”

The unexpected revenue figure was released in the 2014 Budget papers. The Government predicted stamp duty, on residential property market transfers, to increase by 20.5 per cent; however, revenue exceeded expectations and increased by 35 per cent to $5.898 billion compared to the original budget estimate of $4.96 billion.

Mr Garrett said this form of taxation also makes household indebtedness worse by increasing required borrowings.

“Stamp duty results in total mortgage repayments increasing by $46,400 in Victoria and by $37,100 in NSW. In WA, additional mortgage repayments will total $33,800. Stamp duty is an area ripe for policy reform and the Stamp Duty Watch report’s findings make this all the more apparent,” Mr Garrett said.