Property industry groups have welcomed the Queensland Government’s decision to shelve its new land tax changes after drawing widespread criticism.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk reportedly told The Courier Mail that the land tax changes were no longer going ahead.
The proposed land tax changes would have hit property investors who owned properties outside of the state by including the value of non-Queensland assets to calculate land taxes.
The law changes drew strong opposition from the property industry and investors, who warned the changes could force property investors to raise rents or sell their properties.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella welcomed the announcement that the government had decided to scrap land tax reforms that could have damaged property investor confidence at a time of the tightest vacancy rates in history.
“Abandoning the contentious land tax regime will bring confidence back to the property investor market in a time of great uncertainty,” she said.
“To send shockwaves through the private housing investment market during a rental crisis was unprecedented and illogical.
“The land tax changes would have also potentially impacted commercial property investment and national employers with Queensland domiciled premises.”
Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council, Jen Williams, said it was the right decision, given its expected impact on rental affordability and investor sentiment.
“As details emerged of how the new tax would be implemented, it became clearer just how untenable it would be,” Williams said.
“The complexity of the tax and its reliance on the self-disclosure of individuals and data-sharing of other states reinforces this plan should be completely scrapped, and not just put on the shelf until a future day.
“Over the past few weeks, we have seen the Queensland Government take swift and decisive action to address the state’s housing crisis, with the shelving of this tax now added to the list.
“With opportunities like the Brisbane 2032 Olympics on the horizon, ensuring Queensland has a stable and attractive investment environment has never been more important.
“Walking back from this tax sends an important signal that Government is listening and is willing to take on board the feedback of industry.”
In a recent survey commissioned by the Property Council of Australia, 75% of respondents in southeast Queensland said they were concerned about housing affordability, while 63% were extremely or moderately concerned.