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LVRG ScrapbookFriday, September 11, 2009:

Builders and land speculators: strange bedfellows

Andrew J. Gunter writes in the Age (Letters, Sep.11, 2009):

Make a stand

THE Housing Industry Association's Gil King says that “any policies that aim to speed up development applications and increase Victoria's housing stock are welcomed” (The Age, 10/9).

So does the HIA support the replacement of stamp duty and payroll tax with land tax collecting the same revenue? The replacement of local council rates based on capital improved value and net annual value with rates based on site value?

Those policies would lead to an increase in housing stock (the HIA's stated aim), make it available at lower prices, and tend to reduce urban sprawl — but would drive a wedge between HIA members whose focus and interest is planning, engineering and construction (delivering the physical improvements) and those whose greater interest is land banking, land speculation and monopolising economic rent (to drive up land price). On which side of the divide does the HIA stand?

[Posted December 11, 2009.]

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