The institute has said Queensland’s commercial and residential property investors are in for
a “rude awakening” when the state government’s latest land taxation laws come into effect
next year.

Antonia Mercorella, CEO of REIQ, Land Tax
Antonia Mercorella, CEO of REIQ

Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) chief executive officer Antonia Mercorella
believes the bill is “as unique as it is illogical”, slamming the government for passing the bill
hastily and without detail or proper consultation with the properly qualified stakeholders.
Her claims regarding the land tax laws recently passed by the state government that sees
taxable land in Queensland and other relevant interstate lands will be used to calculate the
relevant tax bracket that a property owner falls into.

For example, if a person were to own $300,000 worth of Queensland property, they would
be exempt from tax prior to 1 July. However, under the updated laws, if the same individual
were to own $1 million worth of property in another city, they would be considered to own
$1.3 million worth of taxable property — rather than the Queensland portion of $300,000,
and subsequently taxed as such.

“It is irreconcilable that the Treasury expects legitimately raise tax on the basis of the value of
property held outside of Queensland, for the purpose of funding infrastructure within
Queensland,” Ms. Mercorella said, adding that the tax manages to hurt landholders, renters,
companies, and small businesses all together.

“I would have thought that the Queensland economy would benefit from attracting
businesses to operate in our state, bringing skills, innovation, and jobs to our growing

Talking about the consequences of the legislative changes, she outlined how commercial
rents will rise “through the roof”, while also sending a message to businesses to get “the
monkey off their back” by packing up shop and taking their operations elsewhere.
Given the state is present in the grips of the tightest rental market in its history — with 36
per cent of Queensland residents renters — Ms Mercorella believes now isn’t the time to risk
“rocking the boat of private residential rental stock” given the majority of the housing stock is
supplied by private investors.

“Instead of a carrot, the government has yet again used the stick, in yet another desperate
money grab from the property sector,” she said.
“By the government’s own example this land tax change will see a 332 per cent increase in
land tax. This is likely to have a detrimental impact on the appeal of investing in Queensland,
particularly when you consider the cumulative effect of all the legislative reform investors is
being hit with.”

Having called the taxation changes a “slap in the face” when they were initially proposed in
December 2021, the institute proclaimed it would continue its advocacy against these
“impractical land tax changes” and encouraged property owners to do similar.
Ms Mercorella stressed that there are “plenty of reasons to invest in the Sunshine State”, but
she conceded that “with this land tax regime the Treasury has not only knocked the
confidence out of Queensland property, it’s delivered a king hit”.

“For these reasons, the REIQ will continue to advocate against these land tax changes and
is calling on the Treasurer to repeal this bombshell legislative reform before it comes into
effect in 2023.

“The REIQ is willing to work with the Queensland government on more innovative solutions
to remove the burden and inefficiencies of the current taxation system,” she concluded

This article was posted in Real Estate Business by Kyle Robbins

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