Land tax discount announced by NSW government

Land tax discount announced by NSW government
Land tax discount announced by NSW government

A land tax discount for new build-to-rent housing projects will be introduced by the NSW government.

A new Housing Diversity State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) will also be introduced.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the tax cut would encourage build-to-rent developments by ensuring they were subject to similar overall amounts of State tax as comparable build-to-sell developments.

"Build-to-rent is popular overseas but still in its infancy in Australia, and we want to remove barriers and allow this segment of the market to grow," Mr Perrottet said.

"Renters benefit through greater choice and because the focus is placed on them, rather than just geared towards property owners, it has an added benefit of encouraging better quality rental properties and much longer-term leases."

The discount will reportedly be equivalent to at least a 50 per cent reduction in land tax, dependent on the unimproved land value.

It will be applicable until 2040.

To be eligible for the discount, a build‑to‑rent development in metropolitan areas must be at least 50 units, with a different threshold for regional areas to be considered.

Construction must have commenced on or after 1 July 2020 and the projects must provide purpose built rental units, be managed under unified ownership, and include options for longer leases.

An exemption from foreign investor surcharges will also be provided until 2040 for Build‑to‑Rent developers, and integrity measures will be included to ensure that these discounts are not used for tax avoidance.

The new SEPP includes proposed development standards for build-to-rent housing across the state and design guidance on built form, context and character, sustainability and amenity to ensure good outcomes for surrounding communities and future residents.

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the proposed changes will simplify planning controls to support investment in diverse and affordable housing types including built-to-rent, co-living, social housing, and student housing.

"Not only do we need different types of housing – such as detached, high-rise and missing-middle types, we need different tenures of housing – such as affordable and social housing, short and long-term rentals and owner-occupiers," Mr Stokes said.

"These proposed changes will help support the State's future housing needs while contributing to NSW's economic recovery from COVID-19 by boosting residential construction and supporting jobs."

The new SEPP also includes new statewide definitions and provisions to support co-living developments and student housing, and new measures to assist the NSW Land and Housing Corporation to deliver more social housing on government owned land.

Full eligibility criteria for build-to-rent project tax cuts will be set-out in guidelines for the industry in coming weeks.

The Housing Diversity SEPP is on exhibition for feedback until 9 September 2020.


NSW Land Tax


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