7 December 2023

WA Government legislates temporary land tax reprieve for construction delays

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Landowners affected by construction delays may be eligible for land tax relief under the new legislation. Photo: File.

Western Australian landowners who have been affected by delays in constructing or renovating their homes may be eligible for temporary relief from their land tax liabilities following the introduction of new legislation by the State Government.

The Land Tax Assessment Amendment (Residential Construction Exemptions) Bill 2023 introduced into State Parliament provides two temporary exemptions for eligible homeowners who started building or refurbishing their homes between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2023:

  • A three-year exemption for a home being constructed or refurbished if the owner does not also receive an existing exemption for their current home. The exemption can be extended for another year in limited exceptional circumstances, such as where the builder goes into liquidation.
  • A two-year exemption will apply for a new home that is being built or refurbished while the owner lives in their existing home. The exemption can be extended for another year in exceptional circumstances, such as material or labour shortages caused by market conditions.

The new legislation has become necessary due to a large number of delays in the residential building industry leading to many homeowners paying land tax even though their new homes were not completed within two years.

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Some landowners who have already paid land tax but are eligible for one of the new temporary exemptions will be eligible for a refund of the tax paid.

Treasurer Rita Saffioti said the temporary extension will provide relief to homeowners most affected by delayed construction times.

“The residential construction market has faced constraints in recent years, with labour and material shortages limiting the industry’s ability to respond to the strong demand for new housing,” she said.

Finance Minister Sue Ellery added: “We are acutely aware of the hardships faced by some homeowners who have been building or renovating a home over the past couple of years due to delayed construction times.”

Housing Minister John Carey said the amendment should provide some welcome relief for homeowners who are building or renovating a home.

“Our government is committed to easing the pressures on households, and we’re using every lever we can to boost housing supply – including through temporarily extending land tax exemptions for eligible homeowners currently building a new home.”

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