A Taxing Time for Queenslanders

Local and overseas property owners have again been slugged with unjustifiable and uncompetitive land tax increases in today’s Queensland State Budget.

Land tax has increased for all property holdings over $5m in Queensland, with some offshore investors potentially seeing a near doubling of their overall land tax bill.

Property Council Queensland Executive Director, Chris Mountford, says the Queensland Government’s commitment to attracting investment in industries like manufacturing and tourism ring hollow following today’s latest cash grab.

“Today we have seen extraordinary increases in land tax, totalling an extra $778 million over the next four years,” Mr Mountford said.

“It is simply not accurate to suggest these taxes won’t be paid by Queenslanders, or won’t affect job creating investment in the state.

“Almost all of the properties that will be impacted by this tax hike are home to businesses employing thousands of Queenslanders in industries like manufacturing, tourism, logistics and trade.

“The reality is that land tax is paid – either directly or indirectly – by the business that operates on the land.

“When it comes to foreign investment, the Queensland Premier and Ministers are happy to fly around the world spruiking investment in the Sunshine State, but what they seem to forget is that an investment needs to stack up.

“It’s the bottom line on the investor’s spreadsheet that determines whether they invest in Queensland, or anywhere else in the world. This tax slug makes job-generating investment from offshore players in key sectors like tourism less likely in Queensland.

“Sadly, this is just the latest in a long line of tax hits for people who have chosen to invest in Queensland.

Since October 2016, the Queensland Government has:

• Introduced a new ‘additional foreign acquirer duty’ on residential property

• Increased the ‘additional foreign acquirer duty’ from 3% to 7%

• Introduced a land tax surcharge on ‘absentee’ landowners

• Increased the land tax surcharge from 1.5% to 2% for ‘absentee’ landowners

• Extended the land tax surcharge to also include foreign companies and trusts

• Introduced a new land tax category for aggregated holdings over $10m

• Increased the rate of land tax for holdings over $10m from 1.75 to 2.0 cents (individuals) and 2.25 to 2.5 cents (companies)

• Again increased the rate of land tax for holdings over $10m, this time from 2.5 cents to 2.75 cents (companies)

• Increased the rate of land tax for holdings over $5m from 2.0 cents to 2.25 cents

“This is nine new or increased taxes in under three years.

“And when it comes to tax competitiveness, land tax thresholds in Queensland have not been reviewed for a decade. And now Queensland’s rates are far higher than NSW and Victoria.

“Queensland has a clear structural problem with its budget, and until it is fixed, the tax hits will keep coming and we will continue to see an underinvestment in the social and economic infrastructure our state needs.”