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Radical tax reforms could benefit property market

By Brett Pilgrim

When you're buying property in Adelaide, keep in mind how legislative changes could impact the process. With this in mind, the South Australian Government is planning a radical overhaul of the state's tax system, outlined in the Tax Review Discussion Paper.

The paper includes all the potential changes to land tax, rates and methodologies in the state's tax system. The Property Council of Australia said the complete abolition of stamp duty should serve as a jumping off point in these reform, which would be a great benefit for property owners in the city.

Daniel Gannon, SA Executive Director of the Property Council, said that removing stamp duty would create an more affordable housing environment and stronger economic climate, which would benefit the state greatly in future years. However, the Property Council warned that the government should ensure any changes do not damage investment in the state.

"We need a simple, equitable and fair tax system that encourages investment, increases business attraction and puts SA on the economic map," he said.

"But in order to become the most competitive state to do business in Australia, we need the right tax settings to cultivate an environment that encourages economic growth and job creation."

He pointed out that for those entering the property market for the first time – and those heading into retirement – the state's current tax system is a major issue. Half a million South Australians feel the direct effects of the strength of the property market through their super funds, while additional charges on property transactions discourages first time buyers from purchasing property in the state. 

"Any tax reform discussion must start with stamp duty – it's a barrier to investment, growth, economic stimulation and labour mobility and discourages older South Australians from downsizing," he said.

"Not only that, but stamp duty is a barrier for young people entering the property market."

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