This budget does not bring a lot of great news for Queensland property owners. Land taxes will be amplified for all property holdings over $5 million in the state. An extra 2% land tax surcharge will also apply for foreign companies and trusts.

Although the increases will hit the hip pocket of property investors, particularly foreign, the increase will raise $778 million in the next four years. Unfortunately, whether foreign owned or not, most of the impacted properties are home to Queensland businesses, which will also no doubt suffer due to these changes.

To put it into perspective for property taxes, since October 2016, the Queensland Government has introduced a further eight property taxes including:

  • A new residential property ‘additional foreign acquirer duty’ as well as an increase to the duty from 3% to 7%
  • A new ‘absentee’ landowners land tax surcharge
  • An increase for ‘absentee’ landowners from 1.5% to 2.0%
  • An extension of the land tax surcharge inclusive of foreign companies and trusts
  • A new land tax category for combined holdings over $10million
  • An increase to rates of land tax for holdings over $10million from 1.75 to 2.0 cents for individuals and 2.25 to 2.75 cents for companies
  • Increased the rate of land tax for holdings over $5million from 2.0 cents to 2.25 cents

These measures are expected to surge revenue by $238 million over the next four years.

The Government will also change the definition of ‘absentee’ for the purpose of land tax to guarantee that the Absentee Land Tax Surcharge does not apply to permanent visa holders and Australia citizens.

Transfer duty receipts are expected to decline somewhat to $3.038 billion before expanding after the next financial year to reach $3.578 billion by 2023.The Government has failed to move on calls to increase the First Home Buyers’ Grant this financial year.

Social and Affordable Housing

The Queensland Government has also committed ongoing social housing investment in 2019-20 including $479.3 million of grants and capital purchases to upgrade existing properties and build new dwellings. $67.1 million has been earmarked to deliver the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Action Plan, including a $40 million for remote Indigenous communities.


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