An update on Queensland’s controversial land tax

By Kyle Robbins 30 September 2022

The latest news on the Queensland government’s land tax policy proposal, which was set to come into effect in 2023.

The Palaszczuk government has now made the decision to place the legislation on ice.

It was first reported by News Corp that the much-maligned legislative, which would have resulted in Queensland property holders having their land tax calculated based on the value of all their Australian property holdings, rather than just those owned in the SunshineSunshine, NSW Sunshine, VIC State, has for now been dropped, with the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) reportedly confirming the Government’s decision.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is currently in Canberra for an in-person meeting of Australia’s National Cabinet. 

Under the proposed amendments, set to be enforced on 1 July 2023, an individual who owned $300,000 of Queensland property would be exempt from land tax. However, had the updated laws come into effect – and that same individual were to own $1 million worth of property in another city, they would then be considered to own $1.3 million of taxable property and taxed as such. 

The law received much conjecture from many community stakeholders. Perhaps the most fervent objection to the law came from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), who initially labelled it as a ‘slap in the face’ and a sign of the Government utilising the property industry as a ‘cash cow.’ 

As recently as early September, the REIQ pushed for the legislation to be repealed, with chief executive officer Antonia Mercorella calling it “as unique as it is illogical,” before adding that “instead of a carrot, the government has yet again used the stick, in yet another desperate money grab from the property sector.”

New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet joined the criticism of the tax, labelling it a “lazy policy to simply increase tax” that his state would not be complicit with. Building on this, Elinor Kasipidis called it “an example of double taxation.”

“Queensland’s new land tax is not a good idea. We are finding it increasingly frustrating that state governments are introducing tax grabs without proper consultation, resulting in poor policy like this,” she said. 

“Governments are casting around for ways to repair their bottom line but there are better ways to fill the public coffers than by double taxing landowners. This is unfair and nothing more than a revenue grab.”

At this stage the motivation to place the taxation on ice is yet to be made clear by the Queensland government, although a mountain of public and industry pressure – including a recent report which found 1-in-5 landlords were preparing to exit the market in light of the legislation – further ratified the overwhelming lack of support for the policy.

More to come.