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The Government of Australian state Victoria announced plans to levy a Vacant Residential Property Tax.
The Australian state will levy the tax at one percent, multiplied by the capital improved value of the taxable property. For example, if the property has a capital improved value of AUD500,000 (USD379,872), the amount payable would be AUD5,000.
According to the state Government, the tax "will address the number of properties being left empty across [the] inner and middle suburbs of Melbourne. Under the changes, owners who unreasonably leave these properties vacant will instead be encouraged to make them available for either purchase or rent."
The Government will introduce a number of exemptions to the tax, intended to recognize that there are legitimate reasons why a property may be left vacant. These exemptions would be for holiday homes, estates owned by deceased persons, and homes owned by residents of Victoria who are temporarily overseas.
The Government has also announced that stamp duty will be abolished for first-time buyers purchasing a property valued at below AUD600,000. A stamp duty concession will be made available to first-time buyers purchasing a property valued at between AUD600,000 and AUD750,000. It will be applied on a sliding scale. The exemption and concession will apply to both new and established properties.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said: "In the past, if you worked hard and saved enough, you could afford to buy your own home. Now that's getting harder and harder."
"These changes will help thousands of Victorians make the Great Australian Dream a reality. With negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions, the odds are already stacked against first home buyers. This will help level the playing field."
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