Publication Details

McLaren, J. (2013). The Australian Capital Territory has adopted measures to abolish stamp duty and impose a land tax on all real property: will this approach be adopted by other states in Australia?. Journal of the Australasian Tax Teachers Association, 8 (1), 101-116.


From 1 July 2012 the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) imposed land tax, in the form of general rates, on all commercial and residential property in the ACT, including owner occupied homes, on a progressive basis. Marginal rates of tax are applied on increased values of the land. The ACT is unique in that there is no local government so the ACT government was able to increase its general rates on owner‐occupied homes and reduce land tax on investment properties and commercial properties. As a result of the subsequent increase in government revenue, the ACT has substantially reduced stamp duty on real property conveyances with a view to abolishing stamp duty over the next 20 years. The ACT government undertook a review of its tax system in 2012 and one of the major recommendations was to broaden the land tax base to all principal places of residence and to abolish stamp duty on conveyances of real property. This approach follows the recommendations of the Henry Tax Review. This paper will examine the current approach to the imposition of land tax in the ACT as well as the recommendations on the need to broaden land tax contained in the Henry Tax Review. The conclusion arrived at in the paper is that the ACT approach to the abolition of stamp duty and the imposition of a land tax on all property in the ACT should eventually be adopted by all States in Australia and the Northern Territory.

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