Vic's big build just got smaller

Vic's big build just got smaller

Victorian landowners have faced harsh increases to land tax in 2024, although absentee owners took the largest hit, from the rate increases introduced in last year’s Andrews Government’s 2023-2024 State Budget.

BDO indirect tax partner Michelle Bennett said that whether it is a case of Jacinta Allan attempting to distance herself from her predecessor, or that her Treasurer simply found little headroom left to increase property taxes, Victorian landowners will welcome the absence of any further unfavourable tax reform.

“Property owners may not be breathing a sigh of relief, but at least will not be hit with any further changes beyond those which are still pending from the last budget,” Michelle said.

“That said, the Victorian Government has increased the fire services property levy and waste levy, payable by households.”

Many residential landowners are already bracing for the Victorian Government’s extension of the Vacant Residential Land Tax, which will apply to “vacant” land in all of Victoria from 1 January 2025, however there are some positives.

“Taxpayers wishing to rely on the holiday home exemption will be pleased that the government committed to extending it to include properties held in companies or trusts as of 28 November 2023 (albeit not yet legislated).

“As announced by the Victorian Government in its 2023-2024 State Budget, stamp duty on commercial and industrial property is being replaced by an annual property tax.

“Twelve months from this announcement, the bill has only now passed the Legislative Assembly, with the 1 July 2024 commencement date fast approaching.

“Despite the changes being largely welcomed by Victorian businesses, the Victorian tax landscape is looking to become even more complicated, as we have begun shifting our attention to this new system.”

Michelle said with little left to tax, the next step was to wind back the big build.

“Last year’s big tax hikes have not been enough to save the 2024/25 budget spending, with major infrastructure projects being wound back or deferred indefinitely in an attempt to reign in the ballooning debt. Victoria’s big build is today looking decidedly smaller.”

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