Stamp duty error averted in Victoria

Industry and consumer groups have welcomed a state government decision to rectify a bill that would have seen retirement village residents paying stamp duty.

Consumer and industry groups are welcoming the Victorian Treasurer’s decision to change a bill that would have seen older people paying stamp duty when they moved into retirement villages.

The proposed amendment to the state’s Duties Bill may also have adversely affected bond-paying residents in aged care.

However intense lobbying efforts from retirement village, aged care and seniors’ organisations meant the unintended consequences were averted.

The Retirement Village Association (RVA) and Aged and Community Care Victoria (ACCV) undertook consultation with the government about the bill last month.

“This is very good news for Victorian seniors and it’s fantastic to see the Victorian Government take a common sense approach on this issue,” said RVA CEO, Jane Holdsworth.

“Had the bill not been amended it could have meant retirement village residents contributing more than $20,000 per person in stamp duties,” she said.

ACCV CEO, Gerard Mansour praised the government on its outcome.

“We worked very assiduously and informed the state revenue office and the treasurer about the enormous impact that this would have had,” he said.

“Although the primary cost would have been to the consumer, from an industry point of view we didn’t support that because it would not be good for us if there were a sudden increase in consumer costs.”

It is understood that the state government initially intended to rectify the problem after the bill had been passed.

But the state’s Treasurer, John Lenders issued a statement last week giving assurance that retirement villages and aged care facilities would be exempt from the proposed law.

The Victorian manager for National Seniors, Arnold Bates welcomed the decision on behalf of his members.

“While we understood that residents of retirement villages were not intended to be caught in this legislation, we really wanted it amended before it went to its second reading in the upper house,” he said.

“We are delighted that it was amended before it was passed, rather than having to re-visit the issue later on.”

“They did a very good job in making aged care was excluded as well,” Mr Bates said.

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