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South Australia has rolled out its own state budget, promising “the most comprehensive land tax reform” in the state’s history and a massive $17.9 billion infrastructure spend as it looks to turn Adelaide into the nation’s “most attractive” place to invest.
Promising to back the state’s economic growth strategy while “rejecting” the alternative approach adopted by the Victorian government, South Australia has pledged to discount land tax by 50 per cent for eligible new build to rent housing projects.
Moreover, the state’s Treasurer, Rob Lucas, has promised a $10.7 million injection in land tax relief in 2021-22 through the land tax transition for those taxpayers negatively impacted by changes to land tax aggregation rules.
According to the Treasurer, this initiative increases relief from 30 per cent to 70 per cent of the relevant increase in 2021-22 and brings total relief through the fund over three years to $48.7 million.
“The government remains committed to ensuring annual land tax relief from 2022-23 onwards from the land tax reforms is no less than the originally estimated $75 million per year,” Mr Lucas assured.
As for the state’s record $17.9 billion infrastructure spend, it is estimated to support more than 19,000 jobs during construction.
“The most important economic infrastructure project in this state remains the completion of the north-south corridor, and this year’s budget allocates $3.4 billion over the next four years to the project,” Mr Lucas said.
“This project will provide a 78-kilometre nonstop motorway connecting north and south and slashing travel time by 24 minutes. Productivity improvements will be enormous as it is estimated that commercial freight operators will save up to $8.80 per trip.”
Other transport initiatives include:
Applauding the state’s budget, the Property Council of Australia said Australia’s “most liveable city” is set to become “the nation’s most attractive place to invest and do business”.
“South Australia is well positioned to re-emerge from COVID with social infrastructure that attracts investment, people and world-leading activities,” said Property Council SA executive director Daniel Gannon.
A core feature of the budget, he opined, revolves around competitiveness.
“Our state’s investment attractiveness has increased with changes to land tax and stamp duty, and South Australia’s COVID-management performance is second to none.
“In comparison, Victoria’s recent increases to property taxes, coupled with that state’s management of the pandemic, means South Australia has set itself up for a golden era of investment attraction.”