Victorian stamp duty relief plan

Victorian homebuyers would reap big savings on stamp duty under a proposed tax relief scheme being put to Labor and the Coalition amid the State’s election campaign. Victoria's recent property boom has put a stamp duty windfall into the state coffers, with $799 million more than the Budget estimate flowing in – a 64 per cent increase on last year.

The Swinburne University report, commissioned by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, says that tax relief could be achieved under five different models, most of which propose cutting the State Government's revenue. A $50 million cut in the Government's annual $1.9 billion stamp duty income would deliver savings to about 80 per cent of the state's 110,000 homebuyers every year. One of the report's models suggests scrapping the current formula of “$2,650 plus 6 per cent” and replacing it with a tiered system between 2.5 and 6 per cent. This would deliver the greatest savings to homebuyers up to the low $200,000s range.

Another model would give a home buyer purchasing a $265,000 house a saving of $658 in stamp duty, while a median-priced house of $340,000 would attract a $914 saving and on a $520,00 house the saving would be $1,529. Dr Michael Enright, the report's author, said the formula could be manipulated to deliver savings where they're most needed.