Joe Lenzo, Executive Director WA of the Property Council of Australia in his offices in Perth. Source: News Limited
INVESTORS with big property portfolios will be celebrating if a new campaign to reduce land tax comes to fruition.
The Make Land Tax Fair campaign was launched by the Property Council of Australia's WA branch last week.
The campaign comes on the heals of an announcement that the State Government would look to secure WA's land tax revenue with new legislation in 2014, following a State Administrative Tribunal decision about land tax for a retirement village.
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Property Council WA executive director Joe Lenzo said the current tax system was unfair as some property owners were hit with land tax while others didn't pay.
"The issue here is that the tax is lopsided and punishes some small businesses, but exempts others, and this depends on whether you rent or lease a premise or own the property direct," he said. "It must be fixed and made fair."
Mr Lenzo said land tax was paid by investors and big business owners - those with properties that were not used as their primary residence. Those with multiple properties were taxed exponentially more for each successive property.
Following this year's federal budget cuts, WA saw a 12.4 per cent land tax rise.
According to the Property Council, 6 per cent of land tax payers were paying 80 per cent of WA's $700 million annual land tax bill.
"The principal payers of land tax currently are property owners and investors who have large property holdings, such as shopping centres, office buildings, car yards and industrial warehouses," he said. "The key here is that these owners will pass their land tax costs on to the small businesses and tenants that rent or occupy these premises."
About 116,000 land owners will be subject to land tax in 2013-14.