While there is a huge focus on the real estate market and its many moving parts in the United States, Australia’s property taxes have reached record highs even when compared to other types of taxes paid by individuals and businesses throughout the country. In particular, property taxes are higher than the taxes that businesses pay on their labour forces and payroll. According to reports filed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, property taxes collected at all levels of the government were increased by $8.5 billion. This increase spanned over the past five years and was the result of a real estate boom in markets across the country.
Meanwhile, employers across Australia paid a total of $3.9 billion on payroll taxes within the same time frame.
The increased revenue that Australian governments collected from real estate owners was distributed across the past half a decade. However, the 2017-2018 year saw a significant portion of those taxes. There was a total of $30.3 billion collected in property taxes in that year alone, which represents a $1.6 billion hike over the previous year’s tax revenue.
Over the years, a booming real estate market has benefited everyone from private investors to government tax agencies. The boom started as early as 2013, when a surge of property sales increased tax revenues from $21.77 billion up to $23.5 billion. From 2015 through 2016, the country saw an increase in property taxes that equaled $1.6 billion, taking the total collected revenue up to $26.6 billion. By the end of 2017, property tax revenue had reached a high of $28.7 billion.
Upon dividing up the tax revenue, it was found that local governments claimed the biggest piece of the pie. Local governments claimed up to $18.12 billion of all real estate tax revenue. Meanwhile, state governments throughout Australia collected as much as $12.22 billion. This division of taxes makes sense, since property tax is the sole source of revenue for local governments. Meanwhile, state governments also raise revenue by taxing employer payroll, as well as taxes on the provision and use of products and services.
By way of comparison, employers paid $5.61 billion less on payroll taxes this year in comparison to taxes paid in the previous year. While it seems that property owners are paying more for their real estate, this data also indicates that they’re bringing home more money from their employers.