Herald Sun

Stamp duty reform call

Business wants land tax swap

- KIERAN ROONEY kieran.rooney@news.com.au

STAMP duty should be reformed and swapped out for a land tax in Victoria’s next budget, according to the state’s leading business associatio­n.

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has joined calls for major tax reform in a state budget submission that also urges for more than $790m in new business packages.

They have delivered Treasurer Tim Pallas a shopping list of requests they say would help businesses recover from the coronaviru­s pandemic and to grow new industries across the state.

VCCI chief executive Paul Guerra said now was the ideal time to change how tax worked in Victoria.

“The Victorian chamber is proposing that we switch from stamp duty to a broadbased land tax, as part of a broader tax reform package,” he said.

“This switch will remove a huge burden on future property purchasers — especially first homebuyers — and also leads to greater revenue certainty for government­s to deliver the programs that Victorians want.

“With NSW moving down this path we cannot afford to be left in their wake.

“The Victorian chamber would propose that the switch allows purchasers to opt-in and be grandfathe­red only to new property purchases.”

Other proposals include grants to help business adapt to changes in the wake of COVID-19, a fund to support the defence manufactur­ing industry, a task force on internatio­nal students and the creation of a hub for space and aerospace businesses.

VCCI also wants the payroll tax threshold raised to $1m and for the tax to be cut 4 per cent in metropolit­an areas and 1 per cent in the regions.

“We are asking for a consolidat­ion budget that delivers the conditions that business needs to get the cogs turning on our economic engine room once again,” Mr Guerra said.

“We’ve had the ambitious infrastruc­ture agenda and now it’s time to empower business to do what they do best.

“It’s why the pillars of this year’s budget submission are to enable business, grow business and opportunit­y and ease restrictio­ns and red tape.

“The Victorian chamber is advocating for a state budget that focuses on reactivati­ng and turbo charging business so it can help drive the economic recovery, while also helping the economy become more agile.”

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