Home' API Magazine : October 2014 Contents OCTOBER 2014 n APIMAGAZINE.COM.AU n 99
for a $200,000 property and out to 4.26 per
cent at $500,000, with everything above that
figure attracting $21,330 plus 5.5 per cent.
Real Estate Institute of South Australia
(REISA) president Ted Piteo has been
lobbying the State Government this year to
abolish stamp duty and to fund the shortfall
through other revenue streams.
“ The impost is causing a choke on our
industry,” he says. “If we can take that away,
what happens every time someone buys or
sells a house? They spend money. You don’t
want to live on someone else’s carpet. You
don’t like someone else’s curtains.
“ The government is always looking for a
way to stimulate the economy and this is the
perfect way to do it. Take away some of these
taxes at state level, not at federal level, and
you stimulate the real estate market, which
has a flow on effect.
“ The State Government is going to
complain that they’d lose too much of their
income but I suggest an increase in the GST
to compensate for this – not in essentials like
education, health or housing.
“ The (South Australian) Budget highlights
the need for urgent taxation reform.
The State Government can’t always be
grasping at the lowest hanging fruit to recoup
revenues when the Federal Government
clicks its fingers. South Australia needs a
Stamp duty is believed to have originated
in Spain in the 16th Century before being
introduced in the Netherlands in 1620.
It soon became a popular means of
attracting extra taxes across Europe, with
France, Denmark, Prussia (the German
kingdom) and England following in the late
1600s. War has been a common theme
in the creation of early stamp duties –
Denmark introduced a stamp duty in 1657
to finance its conflict with Sweden, and
England imposed its stamp duty in 1694
to help bankroll its war against France.
While stamp duty is broadly associated
with the trading of property, it’s been
historically linked to the discharging of
other documents, including cheques,
receipts, military commissions and
In Australia, stamp duty is levied by the
states instead of the Federal Government.
Most common forms of duty are on the
sale of land, businesses, shares and other
forms of dutiable property. Tasmania and
New South Wales introduced stamp duty
in 1863 and 1865 respectively, followed by
Victoria in 1879.
It was introduced on the sale of property
in South Australia much later, through the
Stamp Duties Act of 1923.
STAMP DUTY ACROSS THE NATION
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
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revenue stream that’s constant, effective
and not driven by volatile markets and
“Before the last State Election, REISA called
for the State Government to begin working
with its state and federal counterparts on
commencing a serious and constructive
dialogue on meaningful GST reform, that
would deliver the states a viable tax revenue
stream and allow them to abolish state
property taxes that are uncertain, inefficient
“REISA has consistently lobbied for the
removal of the inequitable and punitive
property taxes that impede our competitive
edge, thwart investment and disrupt the
natural cycle of home ownership.
“It’s time that these taxes were abolished
once and for all – as was promised by the
Howard Government 14 long years ago when
the GST was introduced.
“Some have suggested that the cuts in the
2014 Federal Budget to payments to the states
was a deliberate ploy to handball the GST
issue to the states. Whether or not this is true
is irrelevant. The time is now here for the
handballing to stop and the game to begin.”
Piteo says the benefits to either raising the
rate of GST or broadening the base to which
GST is applied “would be enormous” to
“South Australia would have a constant
and effective taxation stream and wouldn’t
be beholden to state taxes that are out of date
and ineffective,” he says.
“And South Australia could finally
release itself from the shackles of state tax
burdens that restrict labour mobility and
“Residential real estate underpins Australia’s
wealth. It’s estimated that it’s worth $5.5
trillion. Just compare that to superannuation
at $1.8 trillion, Australian listed stocks at
$1.5 trillion and commercial real estate at
“Imagine the possibilities that would result
from abolishing stamp duty and land tax. It
would get South Australians excited about
buying, moving, downsizing and investing
South Australia n THE STATES
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