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Beyond the expected

Stamp Duty – Bureaucratic Ripoff?

By cranky - 8 August 2008 8

A letter to the editor in today’s CT has detailed the ACT Gov deciding that a block of land for sale was worth $204K, just above the value that stamp duty kicks in for first home buyers.

The buyers bank subsequently valued the land at $190K, well below the stamp duty threshold.

By valuing this land above the cutoff value, the Gov received over $5.6K in stamp duty.

I recognise that this money goes to ACT revenue, but isn’t there a bit of an odour that valuations have been manipulated to garner this revenue.

What’s Your opinion?


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8 Responses to
Stamp Duty – Bureaucratic Ripoff?
Jonathon Reynolds 11:12 pm 09 Aug 08

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Could you guys get a sense of perspective? It’s getting tiresome having every second word being ‘appalling’ or ‘disaster’ or ‘catastrophe’. What words will you use when a government really does do something evil?

I dunno perhaps we will need to resort to using a thesaurus?

Woody Mann-Caruso 7:59 pm 09 Aug 08

Could you guys get a sense of perspective? It’s getting tiresome having every second word being ‘appalling’ or ‘disaster’ or ‘catastrophe’. What words will you use when a government really does do something evil?

jakez 5:52 pm 09 Aug 08

An example of appalling abuse of the power we entrust to the Government.

iCanberran 5:31 pm 09 Aug 08

The corrupt ACT Government doesn’t give a sh*t about Canberran’s, just pursuing their own silly projects like a bunch of trees and a statue of Grasby.

OzChick 8:49 pm 08 Aug 08

Hopefully the taxpayer objected to this assessment and has taken it up with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

I would love to find out the outcome of this…

Gungahlin Al 8:30 pm 08 Aug 08

As I have said elsewhere on RA, the land price setting method used in ACT – by the LDA mainly – in deeply flawed.

They drive up demand through advertising when they already have plenty of people on their waiting lists. Then their “independent valuer” says (surprise surprise) demand is high so you need to put up your prices.

Surely someone on RA works in the ACCC and can advise if this is even legal?

cranky 8:26 pm 08 Aug 08

When the only land for sale is marketed by a single authority, the lack of competition ensures that the seller is able to dictate the price. The buyer is compelled to pay the price demanded.

That this price is miraculously above a level established by the seller as generating additional income, the concept of assisting new home buyers to reduce the start up costs go out the window.

Having your cake and eating it too.

All a bit too cute for my taste.

VicePope 8:14 pm 08 Aug 08

Opinions will always vary about the value of any real estate, whether a bare block or a house. It’s worth what people will pay. In this case, I’d argue that the ACT (having offered the block at a price for which there was at least one willing purchaser) probably got it right. It’s just possible that the bank valuer, for whatever reasons of professional judgment, simply took a different view.

(By the way, have there been any reports of buyers offering to pay the ACT the additional amount where a bank valuation was above the government one? Didn’t think so).

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