National survey confirms increasing taxes in Queensland a dangerous proposition

The confidence levels of Queensland’s property industry have dropped for the first time in five quarters, with the State Government’s proposed new tax hikes reversing recent growth.

The latest ANZ/Property Council Survey, taken in the weeks either side of the November State Election, has recorded a drop of two index points for Queensland in the March 2018 quarter.

Queensland now has the lowest confidence levels of all Australian jurisdictions.

Property Council Queensland Executive Director, Chris Mountford, said that the results confirm industry concern about the Government’s proposed property tax hikes.

“Under current circumstances, Queensland’s property industry simply isn’t as confident as the other states, this means they are less willing to invest and create new jobs,” Mr Mountford said.

“At a time when we need to do more to catch up with other markets, increasing taxes on property is a big economic risk.”

The re-elected Labor Government has proposed to increase the Land Tax rates by 25 per cent on holdings of more than $10 million. The foreign investor tax is also proposed to be increased, more than doubling from 3 per cent to 7 per cent.

“The impact of these proposed tax increases can already be seen in the figures. Forward work schedules, staffing level expectations, and Queensland’s economic growth predictions are all down,” Mr Mountford said.

"Taxes on business and investment are ultimately taxes that will be borne by Queenslanders,”

"These are not Robin Hood taxes, they are simply another cost for Queensland businesses to contend with in a period of considerable cost pressure."

For the last two years Queensland has been consistently behind all the major states in terms of overall confidence, only remaining in front of Western Australia - where the end of the resources boom had created significant economic challenges.

“In contrast to Queensland’s relatively flat confidence levels, WA has surged back from an economic downturn.”

“With Queensland now the least confident market in the country, the challenge for the State Government in 2018 will be to reverse this equation.”

“Abandoning the proposed tax increases would send a strong message to the industry that they can have confidence to invest in Queensland.”

Media contact: Chris Mountford |   E cmountford@propertycouncil.com.au

To view select ANZ/Property Council Survey historical data series in the Property Council’s Data Room, click here.

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