Aggregating Land Tax Good Policy but Cuts Go Too Far: Australia Institute

The Australia Institute’s submission to the State Government’s review of the draft Land Tax (Miscellaneous) Amendments Bill 2019 supports the idea of aggregating land portfolios for taxation purposes but raises concerns about the lost revenue that will result from deep cuts to the state’s top rate of land tax.

“The proposed changes to land tax aggregation are a common sense reform that should be supported on the grounds of fairness and transparency,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, SA Projects Manager at The Australia Institute.

“While closing the land tax loophole is good policy, cutting the top rate of the tax so severely will have a lasting, negative effect on the Government’s ability to collect adequate revenue.

“When taken as a whole, and including last year’s legislated reductions, the Government’s land tax reforms are expected to collect millions of dollars less in revenue annually, when compared with the status quo.

Australia Institute research has shown that there is strong public support for policies that would see wealthy South Australians and property investors paying more, not less, and strong opposition to public service cuts and privatisation.

“The Government should worry about the proper funding of public services such as schools, hospitals and public transport before they reduce the rate of land tax for property investors.”

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