The health and well-being of one of Queensland’s biggest employers, the real estate sector, should top the list as Treasurer Jackie Trad prepares the State Budget for release.
More than 50,000 people are employed in a real estate-related job and the two single-largest sources of revenue for the Government are payroll tax and stamp duty.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said it was time the real estate profession was put higher on the list of priorities when it came to allocating resources.
“The Government should recognise the important role that real estate plays in this state’s fortunes and they can do more to help this sector survive the prevailing headwinds,” she said.
“Small business is the backbone of this state’s economy, employing almost a million Queenslanders, and real estate agencies make up the second largest group of small business employers in this state.
“A thriving small business sector means a thriving Queensland economy,” Ms Mercorella said.
First Home Owners Grant
“The First Home Owners Grant should be broadened to include established homes in regional Queensland, where the housing market is under extraordinary duress.
“In most of these regional areas it’s cheaper to buy an established home than to build a new home, so the grant is artificially funnelling first home buyers into building a home when they would be much better off buying an established home,” Ms Mercorella said.
“Furthermore, the grant is creating additional housing supply in these already oversupplied markets, which will slow recovery,” Ms Mercorella said.
The REIQ advocates the abolition of Stamp Duty. The Commonwealth Government’s own Henry Tax Review found that stamp duty was a regressive tax that stymied housing mobility.
“Stamp duty keeps people in homes that are no longer suitably sized, with downsizers remaining in homes too large for them and upgraders remaining in homes that are too small,” Ms Mercorella said.
“The State Government needs to modernise the way it taxes property and the people who consume property and follow the example of other states that are moving towards a land-tax system, which is far more equitable and evenly applied,” Ms Mercorella said. “A land tax process is much more efficient and more fair.”