The Victorian branch of the Australian Property Institute Plumbs New Depths
by Bryan Kavanagh AAPI
Today’s Victorian API news demonstrates the Australian Property Institute is at risk of losing its way:
“Property taxes shoulder Vic budget
The Victorian government is becoming addicted to property taxes, which will raise over $6 billion in forward estimates for the 2013-14 Victorian State Budget.” [My emphasis]
The phrase “becoming addicted to property taxes” is hardly a sober assessment. Whose barrow is being feverishly pushed here?
The API has apparently got to the stage where the organisation, founded by statutory valuers in 1910 mind you, now joins the ranks of urgers and touts – like the Real Estate Institute of Victoria – in agitating against land-based revenues.
If the author was agitating against that vile instrument conveyancing Stamp Duty, I would instantly add my support.
But bundled with Stamp Duty in ‘property taxes’ is one of the most economically efficient and least distorting of all the revenue tools available to government: State Land Tax.
Of course, I was impelled to reply as follows:
“THE Victorian government is becoming addicted to property taxes, which will raise over $6 billion in forward estimates for the 2013-14 Victorian State Budget.”
An institute purportedly representing valuers— it was after all founded in 1910 by Commonwealth Taxation Office valuers — should know the case for reforming and extending the current State Land Tax was made by Dr Ken Henry in Australia’s Future Tax System. The words “becoming addicted” above disgraces the person who wrote them and diminishes the professional standing of the API.
This is the professional institute of which I was once proud to be a member. Previously known as the Australian Institute of Valuers, it is rapidly becoming indistinguishable from just another branch of the property lobby.