A plethora of federal, state, and local government changes took effect on July 1, impacting every investor, homeowner, renter, and aspiring homebuyer in Australia.
Of all the government changes kicking in from midnight that day, nine were specifically targeted at homeowners, homebuyers, and renters, according to a list compiled by Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions (QEAS).
“This year is unique in that many legislative changes commence at the same time as the usual suspects that occur every year,” said Nick Behrens, director of QEAS.
Though each change was formulated and applied independently by the various governments, the combined impact could be overwhelming for some, Behrens warned.
Listed here are some of the most pertinent changes:
- Treasurer Scott Morrison’s $6.2bn bank levy will commence on July 1.
The federal government will impose a roughly 1.5bn-a-year tax on the Big Five: Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Westpac, National Australia Bank (NAB), and Macquarie Group.
It’s widely expected that the flow on increases will impact mortgage and commercial lending rates.
- Electricity bills in regional Queensland will rise by 3.3% for households and 4.1% for small businesses.
These increases are half of those originally proposed as a result of the Queensland government funding the removal of the Solar Bonus Scheme from electricity prices for three years, and directing Energy Queensland to remove costs from network charges across Queensland.
- Council rates across Queensland will rise.
Brisbane (2.4%), the Gold Coast (1.8%), the Sunshine Coast (2.3%), Logan (1.7%), Moreton Bay (3.99%), Western Downs (2.9%), Bundaberg (3.45%), and other areas will see rises.
- Foreign owners of investment property in Queensland will be slammed with a 1.5% land taxsurcharge on assets with a value of $350,000 or more, in addition to other land tax payable.
While these changes will not apply to Queensland residents, it is widely expected to impact property investment.
- Foreign tax residents will be subject to an increased capital gains tax (CGT) withholding rate of 12.5%, as well as a reduced CGT withholding threshold of $750,000 (down from $2m).
- The Australian Taxation Office will disallow deductions related to inspecting, maintaining, or collecting rent for a residential rental property.
- Prospective first-home buyers will be able to access specific voluntary contributions made into superannuation after July 1, 2017.
The voluntary contributions will be accessible from July 1, 2018.
Limits apply to the amount that people can contribute under this measure to $15,000 in a single year and $30,000 in total.