Aussies pick stamp duty removal as best way to assist property market

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More than half of Australians believe abolishing stamp duty would be the most effective method policy makers could take to assist the Australian housing market.

Online property marketing agency iBuyNew used a survey to ask people “what would be the best way for government to assist the property market?” with 55% of respondents calling for the removal of stamp duty.

Increasing first home buyer grants was the next most popular suggestion, gaining support from 30% of respondents.

The survey also shows the debate over the future of negative gearing may not be over; with 15% of respondents believe the removal of the tax break would be the best method of government assistance for the housing market.

With stamp duty responsible for a growing share of revenue for many state governments, iBuyNew chief executive officer Mark Mendel said they have become too reliant on the tax.

“State governments still have an unhealthy dependence on stamp duty which is just a drag on the economy and a handbrake on homebuyers,” Mendel said.

“If governments are not prepared to abolish stamp duty they should at least consider reductions or more concessions for certain buyers,” he said.

Data from CoreLogic recently revealed property taxes such as stamp duty delivered $42.5bn worth of revenue over the 2014-15 financial year

That figure represents 50.6% of all taxation revenue collected by state governments over the 12-month period. 

Mendel also criticised the NSW, Queensland and Victorian state governments for the increased stamp duty charges they have recently instituted for foreign buyers, claiming they have gone too far in terms of the scope of the additional charges.

“Foreigners buying property in Australia should be paying some tax but the measures that were recently announced by the NSW, Victorian and Queensland governments were over the top,” he said.

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