While it may not be the wholesale abolition of stamp duty many in the property industry have called for, the South Australian government is set to tinker with stamp duty arrangements in the state.

Included in a recently released tax reform package form the state’s Labor Government has proposed to begin phasing out stamp duty on non-residential property transfers from July 2016.

Under the proposed reforms, which would save the state $670 million over four years and $2.5 billion over the next decade according to South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis, non-residential stamp duty would be abolished in the state from 1 July 2018.

The government hopes the changes to stamp duty will see South Australia be considered a state open for business.

“Through our State Tax Review, it became clear that transactional taxes like stamp duty on business property transfers present extra costs for those seeking to create new businesses or expand existing ones - often stopping investment from occurring,”

“Stamp duty on non-residential property, for example, is generally considered to have a larger negative impact on investment decisions than any other State tax. “

“By abolishing stamp duty on non-real and non-residential property transfers, we will remove a large barrier to business investment and expansion, encouraging economic growth and job creation.”

The Property Council of Australia's South Australian executive director Daniel Gannon welcomed the government's decision and said it signalled the state was ready for investment. 

“South Australia an instant and powerful, competitive advantage over other jurisdictions," Gannon said. 

South Australia is in an investment competition with the rest of the country – and globally – when it comes to attracting foreign investors, and when combined with commercial conveyancing stamp duty abolition, our state’s investment appeal is heading in the right direction."