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  • Writer's pictureRobert Norris

Foreign buyers given $73m stamp duty exemption in Victoria, Australia...

'Foreign buyers let off on extra stamp duties, but government won’t name them'

Broede Carmody (The Age, 18 Feb)

At least 28 foreign-owned businesses had their additional stamp duty obligations waived last year, delivering an estimated $73 million hit to Victoria’s budget bottom line.

A one-page document tabled in the Victorian parliament during the first sitting week of the year acknowledges the exemption, granted by Treasurer Tim Pallas. The state government would not say which companies received the exemptions, citing taxpayer confidentiality.


Stamp duty is a state-based tax determined by the sale price of a home or the property’s market value, whichever is greater. The median stamp duty in Melbourne is just under $50,000, up from just $1300 in the 1980s.

“Why is there one set of rules for foreigners, while Victorians are forced to pay the highest property taxes in the nation?” (Shadow Treasurer) Brad Rowswell asked.

A spokeswoman for the Allan government stressed the exemptions were granted on the basis that the corporations or trusts in question would contribute to the building of new homes.

“One of the greatest issues facing our state right now is housing supply,” the spokeswoman said.

“To encourage more homes to be built, foreign purchasers may be eligible for an exemption from additional duty when their investment or project supports housing growth across Victoria. Other states such as NSW and Queensland offer similar exemptions.”


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