Australians paying record amount of property tax

William Jolly By on April 30, 2019
 
Australians paying record amount of property tax

Photo by FilterGrade on Unsplash

Australian homeowners are being taxed more than ever before on their properties, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Australian taxation revenue statistics show a nationwide property tax bill of $30.29 billion in 2017-18, which is a 6% increase from the previous year’s figure of nearly $28.7 billion.

The real estate boom over the five years to 2017-18 saw an increase in property tax of more than $9 billion, or a 39% increase.

No other form of taxation saw an increase this significant – taxes on employee payrolls, for example, grew by only $3.9 billion over the same five year period.

Overall, property taxes accounted for about 14% of the taxation revenue earned by state governments, while local governments earn 100% of their taxation revenue from property tax.

Property Council of Australia CEO Ken Morrison said these taxation figures reinforce the need for a comprehensive reform of Australia’s federal, state and local tax systems for property ownership.

“Property taxes such as stamp duty are inefficient and make housing much less affordable – they can account for anywhere up to one-quarter of the cost of a property purchase in our major cities,” Mr Morrison said.

“Property taxes are a sugar hit for state and local government when markets are booming but they can also eat into budget bottom lines when the markets cool, as we’re now seeing in Melbourne and Sydney.

“We need a roadmap for reform in the medium term that focuses on taxes which are productive, competitive and sustainable.”

Housing taxes have been a hot topic over the last few months, with the Labor Opposition promising to limit negative gearing concessions to new housing and halve the capital gains tax discount from 50% to 25%.

These changes would come into effect in January 2020 if Labor is elected.

Total taxation figures

In total, Australians paid more than $528 billion in tax during the 2017-18 financial year.

This is an increase of more than $30 billion from 2016-17’s near $487 billion tax bill.

Taxes on income, profits and capital gains represented 59.1% of total taxation revenue for all levels of government and taxes on provision of goods and services, including the goods and services tax (GST), represented 26.8%.

Property tax is the third-biggest tax category, ahead of taxes on the use of goods (such as vehicle taxes) and employee payroll.

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William Jolly
William Jolly joined Savings.com.au as a Financial Journalist in 2018, after spending two years at financial research and comparison website Canstar. In William's articles, you're likely to find complex financial topics and products broken down into everyday language. He is deeply passionate about improving the financial literacy of Australians and providing them with resources on how to save money in their everyday lives.
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