By Anthony Webb
The Federal Government is reportedly exploring a plan to ditch the up-front stamp duty payment in favour of an annual land tax, as part of the reforms designed to rebuild Victoria’s economy in the wake of COVID-19.
This move would be a gamechanger for the industry. Eliminating one of the largest upfront costs of buying a house would increase housing affordability dramatically and help stimulate the market by encouraging people to move and sell.
However, the other side of the equation is that people who have just bought a house and have recently paid stamp duty would be worse off, along with lower-income families and retirees who may not be able to afford the annual fee. If these measures are introduced, we must see protections, concessions or rebates, to ensure these changes still give everyone a fair go.