Angus Raine of RE agents Raine & Horne burst into song about property taxes in a letter on page 55 of the Australian Financial Review today – and what a nice cartoon, Clement!
Angus wants Stamp Duty tax breaks for empty nesters – people trapped in inappropriate housing by bad taxes. He wants capital gains concessions for real estate investors over the age of 60, saying, “tax constraints are making it very difficult for them to access the capital tied up in these assets.”
The Raine & Horne agents will be walking tall today, proud their leader has publicly nailed an issue that vexes so many. After all, no one likes writing cheques to the tax office.
Angus could have argued tax cuts for bald men with flat feet, for all the benefit his ideas confer.
Stamp Duty is a disgusting tax that traps people in and out of property. It benefits stayers and penalises shifters. It constipates the land market, stifling labor mobility, household formation and house building.
So remove this very bad tax measure that distorts behavior and imposes significant deadweight costs – don’t argue for the creation of yet another favored group with their nose in the trough.
Right alongside Stamp Duty sits the ideal tax base: State Land Tax. Simply exchange one for the other and watch the economy boom. And Raine & Horne agents, your commission revenue would rise too as we shift ourselves into homes that best match our needs.