In order to contribute to the funding of affordable housing, the government of New South Wales is mulling about whether it should follow Victoria’s example and impose a tax on short-stay accommodations such as Airbnb.
Amidst the ongoing housing crisis in New South Wales (NSW), the state’s premier, Chris Minns, along with senior ministers have indicated that they are open to the idea of imposing a levy in order to increase income and encourage property owners to place their homes back on the long-term market.
Daniel Mookhey, the treasurer, has given instructions to Treasury to investigate Victoria’s 7.5% tax and investigate the impact that similar policies have had in other countries.
“We are looking at what Victoria has proposed,” he said. “We are looking into it.”
“What is taking place in Victoria is comparable to what is taking place in New South Wales, which is comparable to what is taking place other locations such as California, Spain, and London as well. We are witnessing the withdrawal of long-term rentals from the market and the subsequent increase in the number of short-term rentals.
According to Mookhey, one of the reasons “rental stock in NSW is disappearing” is because of short-term rentals.
On Tuesday, the treasurer presented the first budget for the New South Wales Labor government in more than a decade. The budget was severely criticized for neglecting to address the housing problem. After that, he stated that there will be “more to come.”
Following the recommendation of the Independent Planning Commission, the state government has been giving some thought to imposing restrictions on residences that can be rented out for shorter periods of time, such as Airbnb and Stayz properties, as well as a separate limit of sixty days on rentals in the Byron Bay area.
In May, there were 45,209 short-term rentals registered in New South Wales, which represents an increase of 13,000 from the previous month’s total.
It was anticipated that the Victorian levy, which was announced on Wednesday by the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, would earn approximately $70 million yearly to fund social and affordable housing.
Andrews refused to make any comparisons between it and other fees that are paid in other parts of the world, describing it instead as a “modest” measure.
Mark Speakman, leader of opposition in New South Wales, stated on Thursday that while he was glad that Premier Andrews was giving housing reform a “red hot go,” the Coalition would not accept such a charge.
According to Speakman, a tax on short-term accommodations would be a violation of a pledge made by Labor during the election.
“The government went into the election promising no new taxes, so they certainly shouldn’t be looking at an Airbnb tax, and I wouldn’t be supporting it at the moment,” he said to Guardian Australia. “I would not be supporting it at the moment.”
“It’s a violation of the agreement. This is a serious breach of trust. You campaign on the promise that there will be no additional taxes, and you ought to follow your word.
The leader of the opposition stated that there was, nevertheless, a public appetite to see better action taken about the affordability of housing.
On Thursday, Minns stated that he would not be immediately proposing a comparable tax to Victoria, but the government was studying short-term leasing laws and was open to adopting “common sense” reforms. He also stated that the government was reviewing short-term leasing restrictions.
According to what he had to say, “Short-term leasing and its effect on the community [and] renters in NSW have been pretty extreme.” This is especially true for regional villages on the coast that are located in high-traffic holiday regions.
Rose Jackson, the housing minister for the state of New South Wales, stated that the levy would be examined as part of a review of short-term rentals that is scheduled to take place later in the year.
When it comes to finding a solution to the housing problem, we have made it very clear that all possibilities are on the table.
On Thursday, Speakman gave his first address as opposition leader, which was a budget rebuttal speech that focused on housing issues.
He made a number of policy announcements, including a stamp duty exemption for senior buyers wishing to downsize and billions of dollars for councils that met their housing objectives to spend on parks and walkways.
“We would have looked to invest windfall stamp duty revenue… by establishing a community benefit fund of $2 billion or more,” he said. “This would have been done in order to incentivize and reward local communities which achieved their housing targets.”
In order to get a comment from Airbnb, they were approached.