Australia’s leading property, construction and building, housing and development industry groups have called on Victorian MPs to oppose the Andrews Government’s 19th new or increased property tax when it goes before State Parliament this week.

The Property Council of Australia, Housing Industry Association, Urban Development Institute of Australia (Victoria) and Master Builders Victoria have joined forces to oppose the Windfall Gains Tax.

They said the 50 per cent tax on rezoned land follows big increases in stamp duty and land tax in the May State Budget and will make home ownership even more difficult for many Victorian families.

The Property Council’s Victorian Executive Director Danni Hunter said: “We have only just started to reopen after the world’s longest lockdown and Victorians are about to be slugged with yet another tax.

“This is the wrong tax at the wrong time and will hit Victorian families, jobs and investors when we can least afford it. It will also have a significant impact on regional Victoria. We are calling on MPs from all sides to do the right thing and oppose the new tax so we can get on with our important economic recovery and get Victoria moving again.”

The property, construction, housing and development industry employs one in four working Victorians and contributes 59% of the state’s taxation revenue which is derived from building and property.

Property Council research showed the tax would raise hundreds of millions of dollars more revenue than the Government’s estimates and the property tax burden on the Victorian community is too high.

Victorian Executive Director of the HIA Fiona Nield said the tax would make housing more unaffordable for many Victorians, with the price of a housing lot in the Geelong growth area to increase by as much as $53,000 under the Windfall Gains Tax.

“We know that over 90 percent of renters aspire to home ownership but less than half believe they will achieve this goal,” she said. “There is no way that you can improve housing affordability by adding new taxes, fees and charges.”

“It will impact land prices and home buyers at all levels at a time when housing continues to become less affordable as dwelling prices outpace earnings.

“This is especially true in regional areas of Victoria”. 

Chief Executive of the UDIA (Victoria) Matthew Kandelaars said its modelling showed the tax will equate to at least $250,000 per hectare in regional Victoria, compared to just over $100,000 per hectare in Melbourne’s growth corridors that is levied through GAIC.

“There’s no justification to hit regional Victoria with a tax more than double that charged in Melbourne. A vote for this tax is a vote to leave regional Victoria behind,” he said.

“It’s the value generated from a rezoning that builds homes, creates and sustains jobs and builds communities. If development stops then housing supply dries up and prices will skyrocket.”

Master Builders Victoria CEO Rebecca Casson cautioned the Government against introducing any new costs that may compromise Victoria’s ability to deliver a solid pipeline of new building and construction activity to support economic growth and recovery.

“The building and construction industry supports 320,000 Victorian workers and delivers thousands of new homes a year and is critical to our state’s economic recovery from the pandemic. It’s therefore critical that this recovery isn't jeopardised by introducing more new taxes.”