New polling from The Australia Institute shows South Australians overwhelmingly think increasing funding for public services is a far more effective policy for encouraging jobs and economic growth than the SA Government’s land tax cut for property investors.
The government’s cuts to land tax, which take effect in 2020, will increase the tax-free threshold while cutting the rate of tax being paid by those with investments in land worth between $1.2 million and $5 million, meaning they will overwhelmingly benefit wealthy investors and reduce government revenue by around $96 million over two years.
Nearly two thirds of voters (63%) think that keeping funding for public services, like health and education, is a more effective way to create jobs and encourage investment in South Australia than a tax cut for property investors (13%).
The Australia Institute surveyed of 624 South Australians between 20 February and 4 March 2019 about policies to support jobs and investment in the state.
“While the land tax cuts announced in last year’s budget may be popular with wealthy property investors, they are unpopular with South Australian voters,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, The Australia Institute’s SA programs manager.
“There are many things the government could do to support jobs and growth in South Australia. This research shows that, for South Australians, cutting taxes for property investors is right at the bottom of the list.”
As part of the survey, South Australians were presented with a list of eight policies that could be implemented to drive economic investment and create jobs in the state. Reducing land tax on investors’ properties was the least favoured option, with only 4% of South Australians selecting it as their preferred policy.
At the top of the list were tax incentives for new factories (25%), increased health and education funding (22%) and greater support for renewable energy projects (20%).
“While many South Australians support investing in health, education and public transport as part of maintaining a strong economy, the land tax cuts have been far less well received,” Mr Schultz-Byard said.
“With the next state budget due in September, the government should be wary of making any further cuts to either taxes or the essential services on which so many South Australians rely.”
The polling questions and results are available here