Dump stamp duty: REINSW

The state property industry would back an increase in goods and services tax (GST) should current property taxes be dumped, according to the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales.

REINSW deputy president John Cunningham said recent news Prime Minister Tony Abbott is looking to conduct a review of the current GST is exciting.

Mr Cunningham added the current state tax system is inhibiting economic growth and as a result must be overhauled.

“If there is such a thing as a good tax system, it is broad based so as to provide government with its revenue but not impede or deter investment,” Mr Cunningham said.

“The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has described land tax and stamp duty as inefficient, and REINSW believes it should be abolished in a modern tax system.

“We would be supportive of an increase in the GST rate if stamp duty, land tax and other narrow-based, inefficient and inequitable state taxes were removed.”

Late last month NSW treasurer Andrew Constance revealed a state budget surplus for 2013 to 2014 above $1 billion owing to a surge in stamp duty and other revenue streams driven by a strong state economy and property market.

Stamp duty was found to have increased an extra $149 million during the period. NSW auditor general Grant Hehir said the increase was owing to a growth in residential sales driven by low interest rates and an increase in the sales of large commercial transactions.

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