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Stamp Duty standing in the way

Support for the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has come from an unusual source today from the local member of First National Real Estate, Matt Hunt, who agrees with her call for the review of state based property taxes.

“It is a rare thing for me to say I agree with the Prime Minister, but I believe she has it entirely right when she says State Government based property taxes are standing in the way of economic growth in this country,” Matt said.

“As Australia's largest independent real estate network, we do everything we can to help people with workforce and lifestyle driven mobility,” Matt says “but the State Governments are not doing anything to help - a fact we have been on the record as raising on numerous occasions over the last 12 to 18 months.”

Matt said research has shown that a lot of city dwellers would like to make a move to the country, but find the costs of selling and buying a home, including stamp duty, prohibitive.

“There is certainly a high level of interest in people moving within a state and possibly even between states for lifestyle reasons”, Matt said.

“The main thing standing in their way is the cost of buying and selling a home and stamp duty is a large part of that cost,” Matt said. “So, on the one hand State Governments want people to move within their State and the Federal Government needs them to be able to move between states, but the State Governments' stamp duty is one of the major costs that is stopping that happening.”

Last year, stamp duty accounted for 37% of total property related taxes in Australia and Matt believes the reliance of Governments on property taxes is standing in the way of Australia's economic growth.

“We need to stop penalizing people who have saved enough money to buy a house or who are prepared to follow job opportunities interstate. Stamp duty is an anti-growth tax, and is a lazy way for governments to keep their budgets in check,” Matt said.