More cash for Carr
By BELINDA SCOTT
GREG Ray has just sold an investment property and should be happy with the cheque he has received.
Instead he is 'gobsmacked' by the amount of money he has to hand over to the State Government in taxes, $4000 from the $160,000 sale price of the property.
The Emerald Beach property investor said he would not be investing in property in New South Wales again, but would buy his next property in Queensland, 'where Peter Beattie is hanging out the green light'.
"In a normal market $4000 is a pretty hefty impost," he said, although the Federal Government's Capital Gains Tax would be the biggest slug.
Mr Ray said on top of the huge gains in stamp duty and land tax the State Government had made from the rise in values through the property boom, the Carr Government had simply got too greedy.
"It's just another disincentive for people trying to squirrel away enough for their retirement," he said.
Mr Ray is one of thousand of investors reacting angrily to the State Government's extension of land tax to all investment properties in 2005 and the recent introduction of the new 2.25 per cent Vendor Duty on land sales where the value of the property has increased by more than 12 per cent to 15 per cent.
"We feel as though we've been dudded," was another investor's disgusted reaction to the news he would have to pay land tax in 2005 on the block of land in Sawtell he bought with a mate as an investment.
He said they had bought the block to help them top up their superannuations and become self-funded retirees in 10 years time rather than relying on the pension.
"I'm disgusted. You can't do anything to help yourself and get ahead," he said.
He said the land tax, on top of all the other State and local government charges (including the State Government's new and unpopular Vendor Transfer Tax), was the last straw for mum and dad investors.
He said the two new State taxes had 'knocked the guts out of the market'. "It's Carr's curse on all the mums and dads who wanted to be self-funded in their retirement," he said.
But 'small time' property investor Shellie Kelly of Sawtell said she regarded land tax as 'a nasty splinter in the toe ? you have to put up with it'.
Ms Kelly said investors' losses from land tax were no worse and possibly better than having a bad tenant and she weighed the cost against the possible capital gain on the property.
She said the worst feature of land tax was the grim determination of the office of State Revenue to extract it from landlords.
"You have to cough up the money with annoying regularity and if you don't you get very nasty letters," she said.
Ms Kelly said like many other women who had joined late and did not have much superannuation, she wanted to 'top-up' her super for her retirement.
Having always loved playing monopoly as a kid and watching the market on 'a fairly good roll' in recent years, the new taxes have not put her off buying more property, just made her more cautious.
"I look for a non-fail opportunity ? water views and things like that," she said.
Other investors have said the new taxes would mean they would not increase their property holdings any further, but would put profits from the sales of land into shares or other investments.