The Sydney Morning Herald thundered about NSW government finances in a May 25 editorial: $17 b a year hole in NSW future finances.

This is mostly the usual stern conservative stuff we have learned to expect from Fairfax. But it does close on an upbeat note:

“The Herald has long called for NSW to transition from stamp duty to a land tax. Stamp duty raises 28 per cent of NSW government revenues but is hugely inefficient. It undermines housing affordability, crimps the mobility of labour and encourages people to stay in homes that are no longer appropriate (this is particularly the case for elderly people).

“According to one estimate, stamp duty cost the economy $800,000 for every $1 million in revenue raised.

“A land tax is far more efficient, nearly impossible to avoid and highly progressive, hitting wealthier people hardest.

“It will – along with increased housing supply – do much to improve housing affordability. It will also help close that $17 billion fiscal gap.

Sounds to me like the Sydney Morning Herald has been reading Prosper Australia’s endless denouncing of stamp duty. Give it up, NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian!