More land taxes ahead under Labor

Legislation passed in the Legislative Assembly of State Parliament by the Allan Labor Government this week will see many Gippsland home and landowners hit with new or increased land taxes.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said that the Allan Labor Government’s decision to expand the Vacant Residential Land Tax to regional Victoria will no doubt hit many local families and retirees hard. The Nationals and Liberals opposed the Bill.

“As Victorian’s stare down the barrel of the 51st and 52nd new or increased tax under the Labor Government, it is clear that we are being punished for the ongoing financial mismanagement of our state,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Vacant Residential Land Tax will see regional landholders who have owned a block of land for more than five years or who own a home that is vacant for more than six months of the year hit with an annual tax of 1 per cent of the capital improvement value from January 2025.

“Based on the average block price across Gippsland, this will represent thousands of dollars annually for a family that is likely to also be paying rent or an existing mortgage elsewhere while trying to save up to build on their dream location.”

The Allan Labor Government claims the decision to extend the tax was made in an effort to address the growing housing crisis.

“The Labor Government made the same claim when it first introduced this tax to 16 inner city suburbs back in 2017, arguing that this tax would boost housing supply and make housing and renting more affordable.

“With the median Melbourne unit rental price rising by 22.4 per cent over the past year, I think it would be a tough ask to argue that housing and renting in Melbourne’s inner suburbs has become more affordable.

“It is beggar’s belief to hear this Government then, try and make the same argument for Regional Victoria where the cost of renting a house has already increased by 11.1 per cent in the past year.”

Mr O’Brien said new taxes such as the Holiday and Tourism Tax, Rent Tax, and flagged increases to the Vacant Residential Land Tax, will only serve to make Victoria less attractive for investors to buy and maintain properties on the rental market.

“Victorians already pay the highest taxes – $5074 per person – of any state in Australia, including the highest property taxes per capita in the nation at $2120.

“It is not unreasonable to predict that less rental properties will only cause greater competition in the rental market and result in a greater reliance on social housing.

“The Allan Labor Government should be looking at ways to incentivise additional rental stock rather than driving people out of the market.

“Victoria may have a new Premier, but it is clear that the Allan Labor Government is no better than its predecessor at financial management.”

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