Landlords in South Australia and Western Australia who provide rent relief for tenants could see a 25 per cent land tax discount under new state government stimulus measures.
Land tax relief due for SA, WA landlords
The SA state government has announced an extra $50 million in stimulus measures which will see eligible commercial and residential landlords offered a 25 per cent reduction in land tax.
According to the SA government, eligible landlords with an outstanding 2019–20 land tax liability will see any remaining land tax payable deferred for up to six months “until around December”.
It also said in a statement that eligible landlords who have already paid their land tax liability will be issued with a 25 per cent land tax refund on eligible properties.
SA Treasurer Rob Lucas said landlords would be required to pass on the full benefit of the land tax relief to their tenants impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
Landlords will need to demonstrate that they have provided “the minimum level of rent relief” since March 2020 and/or that they will provide relief to tenants up to and including 30 October 2020.
“This will be a powerful shot in the arm for local businesses and residential tenants who have been suffering a significant downturn in trade and income as a result of COVID-19 and the necessary restrictions imposed to help limit its spread,” Mr Lucas said.
“By helping landlords, we help their tenants — and, in turn, ensure our economy is best placed to bounce back more rapidly from this once-in-a-century crisis.
“So, by saving hardworking South Australians rent, we can provide them greater certainty and help ease their cash-flow burden at a time when they need it most, ensuring more local businesses can stay afloat during this pandemic.”
Applications for the land tax relief need to be submitted before the end of June 2020 through the Revenue SA website.
The WA state government has announced $100 million in land tax relief grants for commercial landlords who reduce rent for tenants affected by COVID-19.
Grants equivalent to 25 per cent of the landlord’s land tax bill will be paid to landlords for properties where they provide rent relief to eligible tenants.
Commercial landlords will be considered eligible for a grant if they provide rent relief equal to at least three months’ rent, the WA government said.
It said landlords must also freeze outgoings to small businesses that have suffered at least a 30 per cent reduction in turnover as a result of COVID-19.
“We know the strict social distancing measures have forced many businesses into hibernation, which has made life extremely tough for those businesses and their employees,” WA Premier Mark McGowan said.
“It’s been heartbreaking to see, and I feel deeply for all those who have suffered during these extremely difficult times.
“As a government, we are doing everything we can to help those people to get through the COVID-19 situation.
“This substantial relief package complements other significant measures already announced to help businesses and households bounce back post-pandemic.”
Commercial rent relief grants will be administered through the Small Business Development Corporation, with applications opening on 1 May 2020.