Tasmania clears first hurdle to ‘stamp out stamp duty’

The Tasmanian government policy that it has dubbed “stamping out stamp duty” made its way through the House of Assembly on 11 June 2024.

If it does pass the Legislative Council and become law, this change would see the the state’s first home buyer duty concession increase from a 50 per cent discount to 100 per cent, while lifting the current dutiable value cap of $600,000 to $750,000. This means that first home purchasers buying a property of $750,000 or less would pay no stamp duty on their home.

The law would retroactively apply to any qualifying buyer who purchased their property from 18 February 2024. The exemption is slated to run for two years.

In welcoming the lower house’s passage of the legislation, officially called the Taxation Legislation (Affordable Housing and Employment Support) Bill, acting Minister for Finance, Michael Ferguson, said the state has taken the “first step in ensuring more Tasmanians can buy their first home faster”.

He noted that while the concession applies to Tasmanians of every age, the government has also made strides to provide targeted support for older residents changing their housing circumstances as well as investors.

“As well as supporting first-time buyers with duty concessions, this bill also extends our pensioner downsizing concessions, extends the land tax exemption for newly built houses made available for long-term rental, and extends the land tax exemption for people returning their short-stay properties to the long-term rental market,” Ferguson explained.

Under the new law, the state is looking to provide a further year for pensioners to take advantage of a 50 per cent stamp duty concession when they sell their existing home and downsize to a new home or unit at a lower cost.

It also intends to extend the existing three-year land tax exemption for all newly built housing that is made available for long-term rental for a further two years to 30 June 2026. A similar one-year land tax exemption would come into play for short-term visitor accommodation converted to long-term rental, with that plan also set to be extended for a further two years to 30 June 2026.

Finally, the bill raises the land tax tax-free threshold by $25,000 from $99,999 to $124,999.

Taken all together, Ferguson said that he believes the government is “delivering on our 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future and through it supporting more Tasmanians into their first homes”.

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