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South Australia abolishes non-residential stamp duty

By Brett Pilgrim

With budgets making headlines across the country, it was only a matter of time before South Australia entered the frame – and it has done so with a bang. The state government has released its 2015-2016 budget, with a number of groundbreaking policies that are sure to be the envy of neighbouring states and offer a boost to real estate in Adelaide

In fantastic news for the future of the South Australian economy, the state government has done away with one of the most controversial taxes in the commercial real estate business: Stamp duty. In a move that could spur entrepreneurial growth and business confidence in Adelaide and South Australia more widely, treasurer Tom Koutsantonis announced on 18 June that the government will start removing the levy from July 2016.

By July 2018, each and every business property transaction in South Australia will be tax free – the only place in the country where this is the case. Working against a disappointing economic backdrop, Mr Koutsantonis said this sets the scene for fantastic investment opportunities and will ideally kick-start economic prosperity for all to enjoy. 

"South Australia needs to forge its own future by creating a state tax system that rewards effort and removes barriers for businesses wanting to invest, grow and create jobs," said Mr Koutsantonis.

The Property Council of Australia has given the decision a standing ovation, highlighting that it looks likely to encourage investment interest from all over the country, as well as internationally.

"Taking an axe to stamp duty on non-residential property transfers sends a strong message of confidence to South Australia's small- and medium-sized enterprises, along with our state's family business sector," said SA executive director Daniel Gannon.

"The removal of this deadweight business tax is a green light for investment and a positive platform for investment hunting, and will also accelerate transaction activity across the state."

The benefits of this tax could be wide-reaching, particularly for property in Adelaide. Growing business confidence could flow onto consumer confidence, something that could drive interest and construction in the real estate sector. 

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