Prosper Australia welcomes Inquiry attention to Stamp Duty to Land Tax transition

Prosper Australia today commended the Victorian Legislative Council’s Inquiry into Land transfer duty fees for their careful attention to the difficult issues involved in transitioning from stamp duty to a land tax.

Prosper Australia Director of Research and Policy, Tim Helm, says:

“We are pleased to see the extent to which the committee considered the issues around transition. For the switch to land tax to be successfully implemented, the transition program needs to be as watertight as possible.”

“The case for stamp duty reform is about fairness – so the way we introduce the new land tax must be fair on existing owners and taxpayers at large. We want land tax reform to be done right, and to stick.”

“Stamp Duty reform also needs to be considered within a wider tax agenda. We need a broader tax shift, from taxes on productive activity and earned incomes onto unproductive asset holding and unearned income. We support the call for a federal-level reform agenda in order to progress this.”.

Key elements of Prosper Australia’s submission included:

  • The case for stamp duty to land tax transition is based on equity more than productivity: it’s unfair those who move more often pay more tax.
  • The transition needs to be managed carefully in order to prevent unfair tax burdens on the initial cohort of buyers or significant loss of revenue.
  • A value capture tax payable upon sale and capturing unearned windfall gains should be investigated as an alternative to land tax.

You can read Prosper Australia’s full submission here.