The New South Wales government is planning to overhaul its property tax regime by giving first home buyers the choice between making a one-off, upfront stamp duty payment or paying a smaller, annual land tax instead.

This prompted the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, Housing Industry Association and Australian Property Institute to urge Victoria to follow suit.

“As an industry, we are determined to seize this opportunity to fundamentally reform outdated and ineffective tax policy so that we can ensure more Victorians own their own home and can invest in property,” REIV chief executive Quentin Kilian said.

HIA Victoria executive director Fiona Nield agreed, pointing out that new homes and land in Victoria were already heavily taxed.

“The combined contribution of property, housing and development taxes is forecast to increase to over 50% of state revenue this financial year. If improving housing affordability is a goal for the state government, reform is needed now,” she said.

Australian Property Institute chief executive officer Amelia Hodge said there was a growing chorus for real and meaningful change of the tax structure.

“As an industry, we look forward to working constructively with state government and making a considered contribution to a future property tax regime,” she said.

Freya Southwell is a property lawyer and principal of Sutton Laurence King Lawyers.

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