The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the cut in the top rate of land tax from 3 per cent to 2.5 per cent in today’s 2007/08 Victorian State Budget as a positive step in the ongoing land tax reform process.
The Victorian Executive Director of the Property Council, Jennifer Cunich, said that $508 million worth of land tax relief will make Victoria more competitive with other states, particularly NSW and Queensland.
“We are pleased the Government took on our pre-budget recommendation to reduce the top rate. This is a significant drop and one that should allow Victoria to compete fairly for our share of jobs and investment. It represents a saving of tens of thousands of dollars for investors,” said Ms Cunich.
“Improving Victoria’s competitiveness will help the state tap into billions of dollars worth of superannuation funds, drive economic prosperity and deliver jobs and security. Middlebracket relief is another step in the right direction as it will bring some relief to small and medium size businesses.”
Ms Cunich also welcomed the announcement of the abolition of special land tax on primary production land that is wholly or partly in the metropolitan area.
“This will facilitate development in the urban fringe and is good news in the quest to make housing affordable,” Ms Cunich said.
Ms Cunich said that the Property Council is concerned about the State Government’s reliance on property taxes which continue to account for 30 per cent of the revenue even with today’s land tax reform announcement.
She added that the Property Council welcomes extra funding to the Transit City program because it will kick start investment into Melbourne’s west and also the $3 million to be spent on improved structure land process.
The Property Council, however, is disappointed with the Government’s transport spending announcements.
“With all the discussion about congestion and the impact on Melbourne, we are concerned that there is funding for only 10 new trains and 22 new drivers. We expected more from the Government in order to fix Melbourne’s ailing public transport system,” Ms Cunich said.
Petros Kosmopoulos, Public Affairs Manager, on (03) 9664 4226 or 0423 561 287