NSW property tax for foreigners is playing on xenophobia: Malcolm Gunning

Jonathan ChancellorJune 27, 20160 min read

The decision by the NSW government to add a four per cent stamp duty surcharge on residential property brought by foreign purchasers is playing on xenophobia, according to leading real estate agent Malcolm Gunning.

Gunning said the decision should be recognised for what it is, pure greed.

“The government has found a scapegoat in foreign investors and is playing on xenophobia.

"They are choosing to single out Chinese investors when the real reason house prices are being pushed up is self funded retirees who are purchasing properties for their super funds,” Mr Gunning said. 

The surcharge came into effect on 21 June, 2016 and the government also announced a 0.75 per cent land tax surcharge for foreign owners from the 2017 land tax year.

Foreign investors will also lose the ability to defer stamp duty payments for off the plan purchases for 12 months and lose the tax-free threshold for the land tax surcharge. 

“The government will make $1 billion over the next four years from foreign investors, but refuse to make life easier for first homebuyers by way of incentives for the purchase of existing properties. 

“It is important to recognise that this is just a grab for cash from the government and a cop out.

"Foreign investors are an easy target and they aren’t going to continue to invest in Australia if the government makes it harder and harder for them. 

“They play an important role in the strength of construction industry and should be a welcome addition to this country.

"They are good for the economy and make a crucial contribution to our society,” Mr Gunning said. 

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.
Stamp Duty
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