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REIA slams property taxes as 'inefficient'

By webmaster
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The Real Estate Institute of Australia is calling on the federal government to review taxes, such as stamp duty, that are currently paid by property owners.

At present, Nick Greiner, John Brumby and Bruce Carter of Ferrier Hodgson are conducting a GST Distribution Review, which will be handed to the Treasurer Wayne Swan in February.

REIA president Pamela Bennett said she hoped the report would include a review of the various state property taxes.

According to Ms Bennett, the current state property taxes are a major source of revenue for states and territories but are "extremely inefficient and inequitable".

"Revenue from conveyance stamp duties is highly volatile, unreliable and unpredictable and as such, should be part of the review of GST distribution to the states," Ms Bennett said.

According to the Henry Review, "stamp duties on conveyances are inconsistent with the needs of a modern tax system. While a significant source of state tax revenue, they should be replaced with a more efficient means of raising revenue".

"Stamp duties represent additional costs to property transactions, thereby discouraging turnover of housing and distorting choices between renting and buying, and between moving house and renovating. Individuals who need to move more frequently (particularly for work or family reasons) are penalised and pay considerably more in taxes.

"REIA would like to see the reform of inefficient state taxes that impede economic growth, investment and labour mobility."

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