Serious reform of NSW property taxes needed to address housing affordability and sustainable public revenues

“The NSW Greens have described stamp duty changes announced by the NSW Treasurer as fiddling around the edges and has called for serious tax reform to improve housing affordability and reduce the reliance of the state budget on property transfers.

The call follows the NSW Treasurer’s announcement that stamp duty tax brackets would rise with the Consumer Price Index starting from July 1 next year.

NSW Greens Treasury Spokesperson Justin Field said, “These changes make a mockery of the challenges faced by home purchasers and renters in Sydney. It does nothing to address the housing affordability issues in NSW.

“The Government has offered up $185m in stamp duty savings to NSW home buyers over the next three years, at the same time it has presided over a doubling in stamp duty take from residential property transfers from around $3bn when it came to office in 2011 to more than $6bn last year.

“Over the last five years homelessness in NSW and particularly in Sydney has almost doubled while direct investment in public housing has fallen.

“The Government has failed to invest growing stamp duty revenues from the property boom into public housing or into supporting those who have been left behind. At the same time property speculators have made windfall profits.

“This Government has the policy settings wrong when it comes to property.

“If the Berijiklian Government was serious about housing affordability, it would be capping rent increases to CPI and engaging in genuine property tax reform in NSW

“There is a growing consensus that NSW needs to transition away from its reliance on property transfer taxes to a broad-based land tax system.

“Expanding land tax can help stabilise revenues, capture value from major public infrastructure investments, and best support the allocation of land to meet future needs for housing, farming and conservation,” Mr Field said.

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