Tuesday, 16 May 2023

Members statements

Vacant residential property tax

Gabrielle DE VIETRI

Vacant residential property tax

Gabrielle DE VIETRI (Richmond) (13:26): The vacancy tax in Victoria is failing. In my electorate of Richmond the number of available rentals is at a record low. Meanwhile, across Victoria there are over 80,000 homes that are sitting empty. Our current vacancy tax expects owners to voluntarily report that their property is empty. The opt-in method is clearly not working. Meanwhile, holiday homes across Victoria that are empty for 48 weeks a year are exempt from the vacancy tax while people are sleeping in their cars.

Raising the vacant property tax to 3 per cent of the property’s value, expanding it to all of metropolitan Melbourne and ending the inept self-declaration system that allows property developers and investors to dodge the tax just by doing nothing would raise over $3 billion over the next 10 years. Not only that, but a decent and enforced vacancy tax would motivate investors to lease out, occupy or sell their properties, alleviating the supply shortage for renters and first home buyers who we know are struggling to get by.

The Greens are calling for an urgent inquiry into the rental crisis, part of which would review the effectiveness of property taxes, and I urge the government and the opposition to support this chance to find solutions.