In tax as in many endeavours, it’s easy to work out how things should be; harder to work out how to get there.
In NSW, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet wants to replace the one-off stamp duty on real estate transactions with an annual land tax.
In the long run, this one single reform could produce the biggest possible gains of any tax reform, state or federal.
This graph from the federal treasury’s 2015 tax discussion paper makes the point.
It says the “marginal excess burden” (damage) done by real estate conveyancing taxes amounts to 70 cents for each dollar raised.
It means people and businesses change addresses less often than they should. Households live further away from their work than they would like to, are reluctant to move to where there is better work, and spend money extending houses instead of moving to better ones.
Businesses resist changing property location and type when changes in markets and costs suggest they should.
Authors: The Conversation