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Night of the long knives: Premier spikes Dick’s land tax changes

Treasurer Cameron Dick has confirmed the ‘shelving’ of the government’s land tax in an apparent overnight spiking of the controversial policy by his Premier.

Sep 30, 2022, updated Sep 30, 2022
Treasurer Cameron Dick has delivered his mid-year Budget forecast. (Photo: AAP Image/Darren England)

Treasurer Cameron Dick has delivered his mid-year Budget forecast. (Photo: AAP Image/Darren England)

Despite facing the humiliation of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s eleventh hour backdown, described by the Opposition as an “economic embarrassment”, Dick said he accepted the decision, but “stands by everything he’s said about land tax”.

The proposed tax scheme would have considered a property owner’s total landholding in Australia when assessing their land tax liability in Queensland.

It would have meant that landowners who own multiple properties across the country would be in line to pay a considerable increase in Queensland land tax based on the new calculations.

Opposition figures are warning the government is only using the word ‘shelved’ and are urging caution that the tax could be revived at a later date.

Regarded as an Australian-first, the new scheme would have required the goodwill of other jurisdictions interstate to share their data – a request that NSW Premier Dominic Perrotet and others had declared they would deny.

Their opposition to the plan appears to have been behind Palaszczuk’s snap decision to ditch the tax after discussion with her premier colleagues on the sidelines of the National Cabinet meeting in Canberra.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said it was an “economic embarrassment for the Premier and Treasurer of epic proportions”.

“The Opposition said from the second it was announced last year it was a renters’ tax that would drive up rents in the middle of a housing crisis,” he said.

“Despite this embarrassing backdown the fact remains the confidence of renters and investors has been rocked and Queenslanders no longer trust the Palaszczuk Government.”

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The Property Council, which had campaigned with the Opposition to have the tax scrapped, applauded the backflip.

“It was the right decision, given its expected impact on rental affordability and investor sentiment,” executive director Jen Williams said.

“As details emerged of how the new tax would be implemented, it became clearer just how untenable it would be.

“The complexity of the tax and its reliance on the self-disclosure of individuals and data-sharing of other states reinforces this plan should be completely scrapped, and not just put on the shelf until a future day.”

 

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