Average stamp duty costs have surged by up to a staggering 800 per cent in the past 20 years, according to research commissioned by the Property Council of Australia.
This massive increase is slugging homebuyers and throws up a major barrier to home ownership, the analysis shows.
PCA chief executive Ken Morrison says stamp duty is out of control and has become a runaway cash grab that is hurting the economy.
“These astounding increases in the costs of stamp duty are nothing short of scandalous,” Mr Morrison said on Monday.
He said getting rid of stamp duty needs to be a top priority of national tax reform and every government in the country.
His comments come after a week of political debate over housing affordability given the escalating houses prices in Sydney and parts of Melbourne.
The council’s commissioned research shows the cost of stamp duty over the life of an average mortgage is now $61,542 in Sydney, $56,616 in Melbourne, $14,733 in Brisbane, $21,564 in Hobart, $33,654 in Perth, $35,427 in Canberra, $30,393 in Adelaide and $49,701 in Darwin.
Mr Morrison said both the Henry tax review and the recent tax discussion paper identified stamp duty as the tax with highest costs to economic growth and living standards.
“Taxes are supposed to lean lightly on the economy, not act as a barrier to economic activity, job creation and prosperity, but that is exactly what stamp duty does,” he said.