gary dempsey
The property developer strongly supports NSW-style reform to stamp duty in WA. Image Supplied.
  • Mr Dempsey says he supports the NSW proposal
  • Argues the reforms provides buyers with more choice whilst not hindering government revenue
  • Also added he broadly supports incentives for seniors to downsize

Gary Dempsey Developments founder and builder, Gary Dempsey, has joined the WA Property Council calls for reforming stamp duty.

Mr Dempsey – who has also called for greater regulation in the property development sector on the eve of the Western Australian election – said stamp duty reform is long overdue, adding he supports the proposal that is currently being explored in New South Wales.

As previously reported on The Property Tribune, the broad proposal includes buyers being allowed to opt for an annual property tax – similar to a council rate – or pay a lump sum as per the current stamp duty system.

“The system they’ve developed in NSW this year is far more equitable for everyone and is also an opt in opt out system that removes what can be a massive hurdle in terms of home ownership and also allows for more development activity to occur to keep our economy moving,”

Gary Dempsey

Supporters argue due to lifestyle and career changes, many people are more likely to move houses than previous generations. This means they are subject to more stamp duty payments – which an NSW Treasury consultation paper says takes the average NSW worker 2.5 years to save for.

When calculating stamp duty for a $700,000 property, assuming no concessions, bonuses or discounts apply, the stamp duty alone varies from $17,000 to $34,000 depending on which state or territory you live in.

Considering a brand new basic Toyota Corolla costs about $23,000, this shows how significant the lump sum can be for many buyers.

“The stamp duty impost, particularly in more challenging markets, is really prohibitive to buyers and developers alike and a curb on economic activity. The reforms like those being made in NSW provide buyers with choice, they will act to stimulate market activity and they ultimately won’t result in any loss of revenue for governments who use the money raised via stamp duty to fund their policy decisions.”

Gary Dempsey

When The Property Tribune asked Mr Dempsey about his thoughts on other areas of reforms such as ‘rightsizing’ – the idea to incentivise seniors to downsize thereby freeing the market up with larger family homes – he added he broadly supports the idea.

“In terms of the incentives for seniors to rightsize or downsize as suggested by the WA Property Council, while our developments probably wouldn’t qualify because of where we sit in the market, we support the idea more broadly to give seniors incentive to downsize without facing prohibitively high stamp duty taxes at a time in their lives when they can least afford it.”

Gary Dempsey



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