A proposed levy to fund fire and emergency services will be an unnecessary burden for millions of property owners in NSW, according to the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW).
The levy was recommended after a parliamentary inquiry released its final report into the land valuation system earlier this month.
REINSW president Christian Payne said the proposed levy was bad for the property industry across the board.
“The levy will hurt renters as well as property owners and the primary beneficiary of the levy will be the insurance companies, who won’t have to make payouts in the future,” he said.
Mr Payne said introducing another tax on property would further distort investment decisions in the property sector.
“Additional taxes on property will serve to worsen the housing shortage in NSW, discourage new investment and push existing investors into other, less taxed asset classes," he said.
“The Institute recognises the current system for fire and emergency services funding operates unfairly as the financial burden falls on the owners who are insured, whereas the uninsured owners who also consume emergency services do not contribute to the cost.”
The introduction of a levy would see an annual charge of about $300 to fund fire and emergency services based on the median value of metropolitan residential land in NSW of $280,000. The rural residential land median value was $144,000, which would see an annual levy of $154.