Thousands of small businesses across NSW would receive a tax cut under a Property Council of Australia proposal to abolish stamp duty on property leases.
In Sydney’s CBD, for instance, the tax relief proposal would provide the average shopkeeper signing a typical five-year lease with a $3,000 saving.
The proposal is the centrepiece of the Property Council’s Priorities for NSW
package, released in Sydney today.
As well as stamp duty relief, the Property Council package also proposes:
- A State business tax review;
- an immediate 7% reduction in stamp duty on commercial property with a view to its abolition;
- a $18.5 million funding scheme to fix the State’s planning system;
- a capital city unit within the NSW Premier’s Department;
The Property Council plan also calls on the State Government not to back away from the Parramatta-Chatswood rail link and to maintain funding for Tourism NSW to capitalise on the Sydney Olympics.
Property Council NSW President Louise Joslin said the abolition of stamp duty on leases would be a boon for many small businesses that faced tougher economic conditions.
Ms Joslin said the cut was affordable given the NSW Government had allocated $175 million for tax reductions over the next financial year.
According to the Office of State Revenue, approximately 40,000 non-residential property leases are subject to lease duty in NSW. Lease duty is levied at 35 cents of every $100 of a tenant’s total rental plus statutory outgoings over the term of a lease.
“With $175 million earmarked for tax relief in the upcoming budget, a tax cut via the abolition of lease duty would be a terrific way to extend a helping hand to many struggling small businesses,” Ms Joslin said.
Ms Joslin said the “Priorities for NSW”
package was aimed at making NSW a cheaper place to do business, generate jobs and assist in the development of quality communities through reforms to the planning system.
“The solutions package we’ve put to the State Government goes to the heart of many of the critical issues business and the community face in NSW such as tax relief and urban amenity,” Ms Joslin said.
“We have also proposed a 7% cut to commercial property stamp duty in the next financial year. The tax relief will deliver far greater economics gains to both small and big businesses than any reduction in payroll tax.
“Economic experts have labelled stamp duty on commercial property the most anti-jobs and anti-investment tax in Australia. An immediate reduction and eventual abolition of the impost will deliver major benefits to the State economy.
“A business tax review, similar to the one the Victorian Government has just completed, must also be high on the Government’s task list to ensure the State retains its competitive edge.”
Ms Joslin said modernising the State’s rickety planning system was also a major Property Council priority.
“The State’s planning system is in disarray and does not meet community expectations. The State Government has recognised this fact through its Plan First
White Paper that both modernises and simplifies planning controls.
“The Property Council also recognises the enormous benefits the Plan First
initiatives will deliver through a $14 million funding package to implement regional planning strategies.
“We are also believe an on-line planning portal should be funded to allow people to obtain all the relevant laws and regulations that apply to any parcel of land in NSW and also allows development applications to be lodged electronically.
“This IT planning initiative would cost approximately $4.5 million to implement.”