REIWA urges stamp duty abolishment

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The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) has called for the WA government to abolish the stamp duty.

Stamp duty is an inefficient tax and one of the biggest imposts to homeownership, according to REIWA president Damian Collins.

“Despite WA currently being the most affordable state in the nation, many still find themselves priced out of the market or unable to move homes due to the heavy tax burden. It is imperative that the single greatest barrier to housing affordability is removed,” Collins said.

A land-based tax regime would allow for greater housing mobility, which the stamp duty regime currently hinders, according to Collins.

Transactional activity has declined over the years in WA, with annual property sales dropping from over 71,000 in 2013 to less than 40,000 in 2018—the lowest level of transactions since 1990, according to a REIWA press release.

“Significantly fewer property sale transactions (have) meant significantly less stamp duty revenue for the WA government. By abolishing stamp duty altogether, the cost of property taxes would be spread across many years, creating a steady stream of reliable income for state and territory governments,” Collins said.

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