The Queensland Government has announced plans to stage a housing summit next month, as it faces criticism for its recent land tax changes.
The move comes after the state government announced land tax changes set to impact Queenslanders that also own land in other states or territories.
From 1 July 2023, the Queensland Government will use the total value of the land owned across the country to calculate land tax.
While landowners will only pay tax on the land they own in Queensland, the new land tax formula will take into account the value of ‘relevant interstate land’.
Queenslanders that only own land in Queensland won’t be impacted by the changes.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the Treasurer slipped the bill through parliament with haste and scant detail, and without proper legal and taxation advice from suitability qualified stakeholders.
“This new land tax regime is as unique as it is illogical,” Mercorella said.
“There’s no other state or territory that charges state land tax based on the value of properties held across Australia and outside the jurisdiction where the tax is collected. It’s unprecedented and unheard of for a reason.
“It is irreconcilable that the Treasury expects to legitimately raise tax on the basis of value of property held outside of Queensland, for the purpose of funding infrastructure within Queensland.”
BuyersBuyers co-founder Pete Wargent said Queensland needed to repeal the land tax before the rental market was plunged into a deep state of crisis.
“The new tax legislation is both illogical and very unusual, and this unprecedented legislative reform runs contrary to the usual principles of taxation, penalising investors who own properties in other jurisdictions unnecessarily,” Wargent said.
Wargent said many commercial and residential landlords would be forced to either increase rents or sell their properties, exacerbating an already chronic shortage of rental properties, particularly in the southeast corner of the state.
A recent survey commissioned by the Property Council of Australia found that 75% of respondents in southeast Queensland were concerned about housing affordability, while 63% were extremely or moderately concerned.
At the same time, the survey found that Queensland faced significant interstate migration into the state, with one in 20 people from Sydney and Melbourne ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ looking to move interstate in the next five years.
Queensland Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch said population growth had outpaced the delivery of new land supply, put unprecedented pressure on the private rental market and impacted social housing but housing action was needed by all to address housing shortages across the state.
“This can’t be done by any one entity alone – we must have greater commitment to working together,” Enoch said.
“The housing sector is calling for positive action and solutions, and we know building more social housing is only one piece of the puzzle – better strategy from councils is also needed to make an impact on the housing ecosystem.”
The state government will hold a roundtable this week to address critical issues including unlocking land and housing supply, fast tracking social housing and the urgent need for collaboration on housing by all levels of government and the private sector.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government was working to address the issue, with the construction of more than 7,400 new social and affordable homes, as part of its $1.9 billion Queensland Housing Strategy Action Plan.
The premier said the state government had also established a $1 billion housing investment fund and invested $200 million to unlock housing supply.