QLD Government Scraps Controversial Land Tax Scheme

Updated September 30th 2022

After weeks of negative publicity and refusals from state premiers to participate, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has scraped the state’s controversial land tax, which was to come into effect next July.

Expecting to affect approximately 10,000 investors, the tax would calculate an owner’s liability for land tax based on the total value of their Australia-wide holdings that are not exempt, not just those in Queensland. The trigger amount was $600,000, with the tax expected to recoup the Queensland government almost $20 million a year from 2023–24. 

QLD Treasurer Cameron Dick had defended the change, describing it as an effort to stop investors avoiding tax by spreading property across jurisdictions and below their thresholds.

But after its announcement in the states December budget update, the tax came under heavy criticism from the opposition and property groups who claimed the burden would fall on renters.

Receiving a barrage of negativity from investors and other state premiers, NSW Premier Mr Perrottet said on Monday he would block access to his state’s data to prevent Queensland levying the tax on NSW residents.

“This is a tax implemented by a state that impacts the residents of NSW. It’s wrong, and we’re not going to comply with it,” the Premier said.

Meanwhile CPA Australia called it a “revenue grab”, as investors began turning away from Queensland.

Palaszczuk had not addressed the change publicly on Friday morning before detail emerged that the policy would be deferred.

It was expected that Palaszczuk would discuss the tax with colleagues, after arriving in Canberra for a meeting of national cabinet.

A spokesperson for the Treasurer said: “The Treasurer stands by everything he’s said about land tax, but of course he accepts the decision the Premier has made after talking to other leaders”.

Needless to say, there are thousands of investors nationally breathing a collective sigh of relief.