On the heels of a better-than-expected $1.5bn budget surplus, the Queensland government has set aside $5.6bn-worth of concessions for the state’s residents this fiscal year.

Concessions will include targeted discounts, rebates and subsidies for eligible Queenslanders, and broader arrangements to reduce the price paid by all consumers in areas such as transport, electricity and water.

But to help pay for these measures, the state announced four tax measures in the 2018 Budget – and two specifically involve real estate. The government announced a 0.5% increase in the land tax rate for aggregated holdings above $10 million, as well as an increase in in the Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty (AFAD) from 3% to 7%.

AFAD is an additional tax on relevant transactions that are liable for transfer duty, landholder duty or corporate trustee duty which involve a foreign person directly or indirectly acquiring certain types of residential land in Queensland.

Meanwhile, the government also announced was also an increase of $2 per $100 of dutiable value for vehicles valued above $100,000, and a 15% point of consumption betting tax.

The land tax, AFAD and motor vehicle duty measures will apply from 1 July, while the point of consumption levy will start on 1 October.

And despite the concessions, the Queensland Government also announced a cut in its first homeowners’ grant from $20,000 to $15,000. According to Propertyology head of market research Simon Pressley, the grant represents “a slap in the face” for all hopeful first-time buyers.

“If the government genuinely wants to help a Queensland first home buyer, set aside the grant and let the buyer make their own choice from the 2 million dwellings in Queensland. By saying the grant is only available for brand new properties limits the buyer’s choice to only 2.5% of Queensland’s dwelling stock. Let’s be honest, the policy is nothing more than a sales tool to help the construction industry off-load their products,” he explained.


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