Properties that have been unoccupied for a substantial period of time in Victoria would be taxed under this new proposal called “a vacancy tax.”
Properties that have been unoccupied for a substantial period of time in Victoria would be taxed.
This new proposed tax is to boost support for victims of family violence and domestic abuse.
The push for a vacancy tax comes days after the government announced almost $527 million over two years would be included in this month's state budget to deliver on some recommendations made in the Royal Commission's report.
Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews is studying the 227 recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
A major problem is how to pay for housing of the homeless victims?
Experts working in this area have pointed out that a new tax could generate millions of dollars in additional revenue without hurting low-income earners.
The idea is to bring in “a vacancy tax.”
Britain and Canada already have a similar levy that involves taxing thousands of houses/apartments that have been unfurnished and unoccupied for a long time.
If this tax is passed, then the income generated from this scheme could easily be used to fund affordable housing across Victoria for thousands of victims of domestic violence.
Tony Keenan, the chief executive of Launch Housing, whose group is behind this proposal told The Sunday Age that - "This is not a heavy-handed tax – it's a tax to encourage housing to be released to the market and if people are choosing not to do that, then they should make a contribution."
He further added that their survey indicated there could be between 22,000 and 55,000 vacant properties in Melbourne.
Launch Housing is Victoria's largest providers of homelessness services.
Mr Andrews said that his government was "carefully considering all sorts of options" as "the cost of not acting is enormous."
He did not ruled out a levy to pay for programs as his government is working towards a long-term strategy to fight family violence and domestic abuse in Victoria.
Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said - "This government will implement every recommendation of the report by the Royal Commission into Family Violence."