The Victorian government handed down its election-year budget earlier this month – boosted by a $15 billion windfall in land taxes and stamp duty from the booming property market.

While revenue from land tax is expected to increase to $4.8 billion next financial year, stamp duty revenue is projected to drop as the property market cools.

Treasury is looking to boost its coffers with a new windfall gains tax. The tax will apply from 1 July 2023 to land that is subject to a government rezoning that creates a value increase of more than $100,000.

The maximum tax payable is 50% for value increases above $500,000.

Speeding up planning and approvals

 The budget earmarks nearly $40 million for building sector reforms and projects, with the aim of speeding up the delivery of land supply, housing and infrastructure projects across the state.

This investment includes almost $28 million in reforms to:

  • Provide greater protections for consumers
  • Strengthen building standards
  • Cut red tape
  • Address building workforce shortages

The state government says about $6 million will be invested to speed up precinct planning and approvals for more than 95,000 residential lots in Melbourne’s growth corridors and 44,000 lots in regional cities and towns.

The Victorian government will also establish the state’s first state building surveyor and first building monitor to advocate for domestic building consumers and to report issues.

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

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