One could hardly be excused for feeling a little gross, when they received their 2003 Gross Tax bill, courtesy of Bob, and his merry men who have decided to further up the ante, and rob the rich to pay the poor. In property today, particularly NSW, Land Tax together with Stamp Duty, are the most highly contentious issues, and it was only when this ‘investigative’ agent made a few discreet enquiries, did I unearth some dirt, about the Government’s weapons of mass destruction.

Just have a brief read of this, here is how you calculate Stamp Duty; Up to $14,000 $1.25 per $100 or part thereof. $14,000 – $30,000 $175 plus $1.50 for each $100 over $14,000. $30,000 – $80,000 $415 plus $1.75 for each $100 over $30,000. $80,000 – $300,000 $1,290 plus $3.50 for each $100 over $80,000. $300,000 – $1 million $8,990 plus $4.50 for each $100 over $300,000. Over $1 million $40,490 plus $5.50 for each $100 over $300,000. Here is what I discovered! These calculations were applied way back in December 1982, yes they were applied to the 1983 market, when in all probability a residential home was yet to sell for a figure in excess of $1,000,000. So I want an explanation as to why twenty (20) years later the Government has ‘NOT’ reviewed these figures and brought them in line with today’s values, they certainly adjust Land Tax on an annual basis. In a realistic world, the calculations for Stamp Duty should today, be half of what the Government charges, yet to the best of my knowledge it has never ever been raised before. One of the reasons could well be that the Government is ‘wallowing like a pig in mud’, as it counts the annual donations, made courtesy of the property industry. Here is a clear example, for the year 2001-2002 they budgeted on receiving $2.150 million, the actual figure came out to be $3.079 million, a revenue increase on budget of 43.2%, little wonder ‘mum is the word, when it comes to Stamp Duty’, don’t forget that we do however live in the ‘Premier State’.

Now for Land Tax, in 2001-2002 the budget was $965 million, and the Government successfully collected $1.010 million, such a profitable business is this little earner, that it is now listed as number three on the Government’s best investments list accounting for 8.93 of total revenue received. This includes the $13 million they collected from their premium property tax, oops I meant to say the millionaire’s tax.

Many by now will have received their revised land values, and for obvious reasons they are not happy campers. In the case of Mosman, the Government has certainly broken a long standing tradition of a minimal increase, instead opting for the most aggressive approach that we have ever witnessed before, and according to some valuers it will only get worse. Whilst the 2002 valuations have left a bad taste in the mouths of many, the 2006 valuations could very well prove to be the ‘straw that breaks the camels bank’. Given that the figures applied are totally hypothetical, and based on an out-dated mathematical equation, there will be many objections. The Government will have to provide the staff to answer to the valuations, which are being contested. If they want to bump the values up by as much as sixty per cent, they will need to do a lot more explaining, as every property is different. Don’t you find it amazing that in this day and age, your property is valued with a monumental increase, and yet not one person physically inspected your property? This is how they apply the figure for the rate payers to pay their respective rates and taxes, and guess who the big winner is here, once again.

So this week saw the official launch of the property market for 2003, and it has started at the same speed as a Geoffrey Boycott innings. So if you are a purchaser, bring a packed lunch because it could be sometime before you will need to get to your feet. The much-awaited launch of the property market in The Mosman Daily did not eventuate with minimal new properties being offered. The Mosman market is delicately poised with excellent buyer activity and a genuine lack of properties on offer. In all fairness, it is due to the “George factor”! In the meantime watch the Government try to explain why Stamp Duty has not been adjusted for the last twenty years, now I can’t wait to see this. Certainly worth a toast… cheers and clink… ^__^.

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