Government’s Land Tax Bill introduced into State Parliament

Marshall Liberal Government has introduced into State Parliament its Land Tax (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2019, to deliver a fairer, more equitable tax system in SA, drive increased business investment and save South Australians $70 million in land tax over three years.

Treasurer Rob Lucas said the Bill confirmed the Government’s major policy intentions of reducing the overall amount of land tax collected and lowering the top tax rate from a national high 3.7% to 2.4% – the average of all mainland states – to drive positive economic and jobs growth, improve the state’s competitiveness and investment attraction.

The Bill also confirms that self-managed super funds (SMSFs) will be unaffected by the changes to aggregation rules; that companies will not be subject to both grouping as related corporations as well as the trust surcharge; and that some companies – when undertaking significant property developments – will be able to apply for de-grouping in defined circumstances.

The Bill also enables trustees to nominate a new designated beneficiary for land tax purposes in the event of a marriage breakdown, in addition to the existing ability to renominate in the event of death or incapacity.

The Bill also incorporates a number of other amendments which confirm and clarify the original policy intent of the land tax reform package.

“Ultimately, the Government’s positive reform will deliver a significant $70 million in land tax savings over three years for South Australians, while sending a clear message that SA is well and truly open for business,” Mr Lucas said.

“The overwhelming majority (92%) of individual, or mum and dad, investors will be better off under our reforms, while 75% of company groups will benefit from paying less land tax.

“And the changes to aggregation rules will end the opportunity for people with multiple properties establishing complex legal structures to avoid paying a single dollar in land tax.

“So far, the Property Council and its supporters have been unable to defend the inequity of the current law which allows that to happen.”

A copy of the Bill is available via:

Debate on the legislation will be concluded by the end of the year so that, if passed, Revenue SA has the appropriate time to make changes in preparation for introduction on July 1, 2020.

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