A land tax hike for Queensland’s property industry in today’s state mini-budget, will see around 3500 low and middle earners lose their jobs, and business rents rise according to Australia’s peak property body.
The Property Council of Australia says the Bligh Government is facing condemnation across the already troubled industry for the mini budget tax hike.
The Property Council’s Steve Greenwood said many Queensland companies would now face a land tax bill that is more than double the current take, at a time when multiple major construction projects are being shelved or cancelled.
Mr Greenwood said that until now, the threshold for the highest marginal land tax was $2,250,000 – with the land tax rate being 1.5% applying to the full value of the property.
“From now on companies owning properties with an aggregate value over $5 million will pay an additional surcharge of 0.5% for the portion of the value exceeding $5 million “This is an absolutely sneaky and outrageous move on an industry that is already heading for job losses in the order of up to thirty per cent.
“With the advent of the global financial crisis – and in the knowledge that one in seven Queenslanders is employed in the property industry – we had only recently advised the Government of our concerns, and sought tax relief to avoid unnecessary job losses.
“Yet the Government did not see fit to consult our industry before imposing this tax burden.
“With today’s sleight of hand the Bligh Government has heralded its intention to acquire the annual salary of up to 3500 office workers and trades people and other low and middle income workers.
“Instead of that money going in to Queensland households, it will now go straight to Government coffers,” Mr Greenwood said.
Mr Greenwood said the move was at odds with the Government’s stated intention of protecting jobs.
“As an industry we have privately and publicly supported the Government’s move to put the state budget in deficit if it meant protecting jobs and infrastructure projects. It seems, however, that the Government was not interested in protecting all jobs.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Greenwood on 0488721156