Everything on the tax table, including GST. Now time for reform

March 30th,2015

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has welcomed today’s release of the Government’s Taxation Discussion Paper as it signals the start of the long awaited and much needed debate on taxation reform.

REIA President, Neville Sanders said “We are pleased that the paper is comprehensive and puts GST on the table. Debate around GST is vital as it is the second largest source of Government revenue after income tax and to have excluded it would have constrained the debate as well as the possible solutions. ”

“Similarly, REIA welcomes the inclusion of stamp duties within the debate and the possible replacement revenues for State Governments.”

“Australia’s economy cannot continue without meaningful changes to the current tax structure as evidenced by the projections in the recently released Intergenerational Report, which showed that current policy settings are not sustainable in meeting increasing health and education outlays,” Mr Sanders said.

“We urgently need to reform the current taxation arrangements including the abolition of inefficient state taxes that can adversely impact the economy such as stamp duties, which discourage population mobility.”

“The debate needs to be based on robust economics and address the myths and one-liners that have crept into recent media and public discussions.”

 “We are pleased that the paper dispels common misunderstandings about negative gearing. The report states that ‘negative gearing does not in itself, cause a tax distortion’ and that ‘contrary to popular perception, negative gearing is not a specific tax concession for taxpayers with investment properties.’”

“REIA advocated for the retention of negative gearing in our Pre Budget Submission and any modification to this tax arrangement would significantly impact renters and investors alike.”

 “Australian politicians from both sides have long argued the merits of taxation reform and now the landscape is ripe for meaningful dialogue followed by some solid decisions. We encourage the Government to seize this opportunity and leave a lasting legacy of strong economic reform,” Mr Sanders concluded.

To access the full release, click here.

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