Labour has 'clarified' that any land tax that may or may not be recommended by its Tax Working Group, won't be allowed to apply to land under the family home, which also won't be covered by a CGT that may or may not be recommended

By Alex Tarrant

Will there be anything left for Labour's Tax Working Group to recommend by the time it's set up? At the rate we're going, it would seem not. Any sort of income, asset or wealth you can connect the word "family" to is quickly getting ring-fenced (ha!) from the Group's future terms of reference. 

I was quietly chuffed that Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday would not rule out introduction of a land tax that applied to the land underneath the "family home". On Radio NZ's Morning Report, when pushed on differences between Labour's stance (or non-stance?) on CGT vs land tax, this was the ultimate quote: “I am saying that we are not going to affect the family home, and I’ve been consistent on that.”

Read technically, that doesn't include the land. But, as ever, the next day brought a 'clarification':

"My message will be very clear to [the Working Group] - do not bring me any recommendation that includes the family home or the land that a family home sits on," Ardern told Radio NZ, reported on Thursday.

Ardern keeps reiterating that Labour's main desire for setting up the Tax Working Group is to help tackle housing affordability problems and help 'her generation' into their first homes, while at the same time not allowing for existing owner-occupied properties to fall in value. This is despite the earlier line that Labour just wanted to ensure fairness across the tax system.

On Tuesday she said: "I want the experts to have the room to be able to present to me the best options for improving housing affordability, because after nine years, we have a crisis. And I’m not willing to sit back and let that continue.”

Well, I'm sorry, but the Tax Working Group in 2009 felt a land tax would be one of the best ways to help improve housing affordability because it would reduce the value of land. That includes land with houses on that people live in - these massive examples of assets and wealth. (Assets and wealth being what Labour wants the Working Group to look at evening up the taxation of, relative to waged income.)

Yes, I know it's political suicide to go out and say you want house values to fall. Just think about this though: If a land tax is applied to all non-owner-occupied property (ie rental property and uninhabited/unimproved property), then the value of those land holdings should fall, triggering sales. Inevitably, home buyers will target those properties to purchase at lower prices, which should reduce demand for existing 'owner-occupied' property that isn't subject to a land tax, which would cause the value of those properties to fall, which means Labour could not accept such settings.

It is very, very difficult to argue that you will improve housing affordability by altering the tax system while at the same time saying those changes to the tax system should not cause values of existing owner-occupied properties to fall. One way you could attempt this is by saying your tax system changes will focus on the income tax system - by taxing waged income less, that would mean more free cash to go out and buy property. In that case, why does Labour entertain any talk of CGT or land tax at all then?

Labour's been careful to say that the Working Group isn't being set up to look at ways to increase the government's tax take - it's effectively going to be told that recommendations for changing our tax system should be revenue-neutral. Yet Ardern is still not speaking about using potential new taxes to cover for reductions in existing rates (like introducing a land tax to allow for income tax and/or company tax rate reductions). She should start doing this.

At the moment, the best we could hope for given all the exemptions and caveats is for the introduction of a Capital Gains Tax on all capital excluding two-thirds of all residential property (the two-thirds of a trillion dollars worth of owner-occupied housing), which would then cover for reductions in income tax rates (or greater transfers if Labour sticks to its aversion of income tax rate/threshold changes also benefiting higher earners), which would hopefully give first home buyers extra cash for a deposit for what it is currently calling an over-priced asset.

(I'm assuming that taxing "family" inheritances/death duties aren't exactly going to be high up on Labour's tax change agenda.)

If that's the case then just get out there and say it. Or at least say that you will give the working group un-caveated terms of reference. Don't say that you won't allow them to recommend the best scenario. Then you can add your political "family" exemptions afterwards.

This is bordering on the ridiculous. Bill English is loving it. You can see him in the video below having a crack at Labour over land tax on Tuesday. English himself isn't a fan of a land tax (at least publicly - I'm not sure what he thinks privately), his reservation being that it would hit people on fixed incomes, such as the superannuitants living in the retirement home he was visiting that day. The 2009 Working Group acknowledged this, and said there could be ways around this, including allowing these people to hold off until death.

There are also ways to ensure farmers aren't kicked in the mud too much, for instance by applying a value-per-hectare threshold under which the tax isn't paid (ie encouraging efficient use of land).

If you want to read more on this, then Gareth Vaughan this week published an interview with UoA senior economics lecturer Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy on the subject. This Motu working paper by Andrew Coleman and Arthur Grimes contains a bit more detail, and here's our coverage from back in 2009 on that paper, presented during a Tax Working Group session:

Land Tax (from 2009)

  • Economist Arthur Grimes then presented a paper on a Land Tax by himself and Andrew Coleman from Motu saying that a land tax would be more efficient than a property tax which included the value of both the land and buildings.
  • Grimes said the introduction of a land tax would trigger a one-off fall in land values, which would hurt landowners, but improve affordability for first home buyers. "A land tax would be likely to cause home ownership rates to rise slightly, and gross debt to GDP and net foreign assets to GDP ratios to fall due to lower foreign borrowing. "
  • Grimes said the taxable land base in New Zealand, which excludes government and conservation land, was worth NZ$460 billion. A 0.1% land tax rate would raise NZ$460 million, although this would fall to NZ$160 million if agriculture, forestry and owner-occupied land was excluded.
  • Retired people would be hurt most by a land tax as they held proportionally more land and would not benefit as much from other tax changes in any reform package.
  • A land tax would be easy and cheap to impose because it was already set up for local government rates, Grimes said. It would be almost impossible to evade, he said.
  • "Thus a central government land/property tax could be added as an adjunct to the current system with virtually no additional administrative cost. Furthermore, the ability to avoid (or evade) the tax is virtually non-existent since the land/property is valued by an independent agency and the land/property is available as collateral in cases of non-payment of tax."
  • A land tax would capture foreign owners of New Zealand land, Grimes said. "One currently untaxed sector that it would fall on is foreign-domiciled owners of New Zealand property, who otherwise pay no income tax and who pay no GST if they do not purchase goods and services in New Zealand. A shift to a land tax would therefore widen the tax base not just in terms of the base of assets on which tax is raised but also in terms of the number of people (i.e. non-New Zealand residents) who become taxpayers."
  • A 1% land tax would immediately reduce land prices by 17%, while a land tax phased in over 20 years would reduce land prices by 11.5%, he said.
  • A property tax with an exemption for home owners would cause the rental market to collapse, he said.
  • Grimes said a property tax and the resulting fall in property prices would over time reduce New Zealand's foreign debts. "Put simply, high domestic property prices raise the portion of the country's production that is paid annually to foreigners, and a policy that reduces these prices is likely to lead to an increase in net foreign assets and in the fraction of income available for consumption."
  • Residential land makes up 65% of all land values, while agricultural and commercial forestry make up 24% of the land value. A land tax would hit agricultural based households harder than residential households because each rural household owns proportionally more land.
  • The average land value for residential properties is NZ$215,000, meaning a 1% land tax would cost each household NZ$2,150 per year.
  • A 1% land tax would raise NZ$4.6 billion, which is equivalent to 20% of income tax.
  • A land tax would effectively transfer wealth over time from the old to the young. "The retired cohort would be more likely than younger cohorts to incur a wealth loss (in absolute terms) given the higher initial value of their housing assets. They would also likely face an increased overall tax burden if a land/property tax was matched by an income tax reduction, simply because their incomes tend to be low in relative terms. Younger cohorts would face reduced current and future income taxes that, on balance, would generally more than make up for their higher lifetime land tax payments."
  • Grimes suggested some variations on a land tax that would reduce the impact on farmers and lower income people, including a reduced rate on farmland or a per hectare rebate.
  • He also pointed out a rebalancing of the New Zealand economy could boost productivity and per capita living standard.

And here's Bill English on Tuesday talking about land tax:

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346 Comments

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22

TAX TAX TAX, MAYBE TAX MAYBE NOT TAX - I AM SO CONFUSED!! IT'S CLEAR AS MUD TAXINDA.

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From Richard Prebble: Jacinda thinks the answer to every problem is a new tax. Asking for a mandate for capital gains taxes without giving any details is outrageous. All new taxes start small and then grow. GST was never going to be more than 10 per cent.

Who believes it is fair that the Dotcom mansion will be an exempt "family home" but a family's holiday caravan plot will be taxed? The details are important. What if you work from home? What if a trust owns the family home?

While there may be a tax-free threshold it is just a matter of time before the family home will be subject to Labour's capital gains tax. Capital gains taxes will beggar small business owners who are our job creators.

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For goodness sake.

1) GST was raised by National
2) If the Kim Dotcoms of this world want to invest $20m+ in a family home then fine, that's fair enough and should be tax exempt. The only reason this appears to be an issue to you is because you assume the house will keep growing and growing in value. If the housing market is sorted out it might not. And in that case, that's $20m+ earning no return tied up in a house.
3) If a family has purchased a caravan plot for capital gain then good luck to them (sounds almost as good as a timeshare)
4) If you work from home it's still your home. Exempt.
5) If a trust owns the family home, still exempt. Grant Robertson has confirmed this.

So your saying, just as National raised GST and introduced the bright line test they will make the family home subject to a GCT as well? That's the form book.

Enough of the scaremongering.

" Kim Dotcoms"

I think you will find there is only one Kim Dotcom.

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Yes and he was renting the mansion. But I trust you understand my reference is to the 0.1%.

Isn't he the size off 2

That he was. But how many $20M properties do you think exist in NZ?

I thought you made it sound like it was a significant number. Already the 15% pay 74% of income tax.

Was simply replying to Gloom's point about a "Dotcom mansion" being exempt. Wasn't saying there are many $20m+ properties around, was saying that it isn't an issue with respect to a possible GCT.

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Scaremongering is all National has left.
What a bunch of dishonest crooks.
It doesn't dosen't reflect well on the 30% of NZers you will still vote for them.

GST was raised by National, with simultaneous reductions in corporate tax 5%, and personal. Lefties seem to conveniently forget this fact.

Any new cgt around property will be a minefield. The only winners will be accountants and lawyers.

It will not lead to a fall in house values.

Individuals will adjust their affairs to avoid. Hold onto property much longer than intended, or raise rents to compensate. The renter will subsidize this cost.

Once a new tax is introduced Zombie Ponzi that's it. It will never be removed by successive governments.

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You know, I actually accept most of what you say. I have been a National voter in the past. The reductions in corporate and personal taxes are a fair point. We probably could also debate the increase in debt under National versus those tax cuts and make some kind of argument that tax cuts were paid for by debt (I'm not peddling that argument).

I don't think a CGT is a fix all, and ideally the tax system would be reformed more broadly in line with previous working groups. But, a CGT would almost certainly have some effect on property speculation. It's not those who hold on to property for longer who matter (there are heaps of kiwis already doing this to avoid paying tax on sale), it's all of the prospective speculators who won't buy in the first place. It would be great if property investment went back to being a yield/capital improvements endeavor rather than a speculative one. I don't buy the higher rents argument.

True, once a tax is introduced it sticks around. We're a conservative country in many ways and in our electoral loathing of anything that goes near property gains, we've managed to blow one of the biggest property bubbles in the world. We are unproductive, low wage, high debt. So there needs to be change of some sort.

If National had implemented other solutions I'd be happy, hell I'd probably still be voting for them. But they haven't, so here we are.

In my humble opinion… I genuinely believe that housing inflation has got away from national, and the rbnz.

Furthermore this is not a localised event. It is clear that the china capital flight was the underlying factor behind this massive growth. The same can be argued in Australia, Vancouver etc.

However, in Australia you can buy off the plans at $550k. In addition in Vancouver they had a massive price correction almost immediately. In Auckland we have a major problem with the price of land. Sort that and we will be well on the way to resolving the problem.

Let’s not forget too that the growth began under Labours watch. They too watched from the side-lines.

The issue going forward is how do you restore confidence in housing? Tax the shite out of those with skin in the game, or get the fundamentals right going forward. Labour subscribe to 1, National subscribe to 2.

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The reason I'm not voting National this time around is precisely because they've done nothing to get the fundamentals right going forward, and I've no confidence they will. They appear committed to lying about it and avoiding action for as long as possible - based on the last nine years.

Who cares if GST was raised by National , it was a rebalancing of the tax system ............ income tax came down .

Besides its much fairer to tax spending or peoples ability to spend than taxing someone who works

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National and its policies, and lack of oversight/policies, have created the conditions for hyperinflation of the Auckland housing market.
In Nationals enthusiasm for increased immigration, asset sales to foreign interests, foreign sales of farms, zero restrictions on house sales, heavy pressure on institutions to increase international students, etc, has created a housing market that is hyperinflated and out of reach for most NZers.

Having of course, a much more beneficial effect for the more well off among us, and a much worse effect for those who are not so well off.

From your comment you can tell the Lefties from the Righties, those that think and those who don't

Gloom,

Your last sentence betrays a total ignorance of the subject. Most developed countries have a CGT and I would like you to name one-just one-where the result has been to 'beggar small businesses'. Some supporting evidence would be good.
I spent over 30 years in financial services in the UK and gave advice on CGT to many clients. I Never once saw one ruined by the tax-affected by it,of course. There is no point in having a tax that doesn't raise money.
I put this to an old friend in Melbourne and his daughter-he mentors senior executives and she is a partner in PWC and they both agree with me.

@Linklater , sure CGT will not ruin people , but it will damage their wealth .

Unlike the UK where there are tax allowances for private or corporate pension funds , we dont have that , our only way creating wealth is through property and small enterprises.

Capital gains tax should have been put in place 6 years ago. Not to reduce or control house prices, but to make the tax system fairer.
It someone worked in a factory on say $50,000, he would have to pay 33% tax on PAYE.
If some wealthy person in Remuera with a dozen or so houses sold one, he would pay no tax on his capital gains and get big tax breaks on the rent he collects.
To me this is obscene when the property investor can afford to pay tax and the factory worker is struggling to pay rent.
National policies only benefit the high income earners and property investors!!

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12

Confusing? Only to property specuvestors.

I can only vote Jincida after she:
Had a real job (excl. being a politician) and understood how hard it is to make wealth for families and the nation.
Understood that the nation can only get better by working smarter and harder, not by spreading tax payer's money to get votes i.e. free tertiary education.
Said ever things (tax policies) clear, the campaign can only win by clear policy, not by depending on the future tax working group.

Gloom, she did have a real job... wasn't she a DJ? Maybe 'real job' is too far though.. hmm

I bet she's competent enough to recall what she has and hasn't done in her job though.

Something National's is struggling with in their propaganda.

So Propertyminx, I guess we could have a YOUNG FUNKY NEW new Prime Minister whose CV includes being an ex Mormon, never having had a proper job , worked as a DJ in a nightclub, has a degree in communications and events management and then did some research in a political office .

Scary eh?

For those scared of their own shadow, I guess

to say the least !!

Are you saying that improving the nations education levels won't make the nation better off? I'm pretty sure you are wrong on that!

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"I AM A PROPERTY SPECULATOR AND I DON'T WANT TO PAY TAX ON MY WEALTH GAINS LIKE OTHERS HAVE TO ON THEIRS!"

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It's worse than that Rick, they don't want to pay any tax on income that they haven't even had to work for like those on wages.

Rental income is taxed

Of course it is and I hope there's lots of investors paying some tax because that would mean they have some fat in the game. But somehow I think that's far from the truth

So your half million capital gain per Auckland property should be tax free because you paid a few thousand on rental tax (assuming you didn't offset the whole lot)

and the money for the deposits and mortgage payments did not come from thin air - it was earned - wages and taxed at source - then smart people chose to use that buying an investment - not drink drugs holidays and flash cars - the 90% of property investors who only own one or two properties - are real working people teachers, nurses , social workers, tradies, retail staff - who have chosen to invest and save for their future rather than blow everything now - There is only so much blood can be squeezed from this group - who are teh backbone of the country- not the extremely wealthy, not the extremely poor - but the part of society that works hard week in week out, trys to better themselves and provide for their families and future not relying on the state for handout after handout - the longer this goes the more taxes are being announced the more the swing voters who jumped at something new will start to have doubts - remember only 23% wanted these policies five weeks ago and the election booth is a very strange place !

When you buy a property most people would do the figure on how much they pay , the rent , rates, insurance, mortgage, and at the end of 20 or 30 years it's payed off, capital gains is a hole different thing, its a bonus and the last 3 years is totally over the top. Shouldn't have even happened if the government was more responsible. A bubbles a bubble . It pops . If you expect to hold onto capital gains in a bubble then you should have sold . You must have known the risks . I could never work out why so many people seem to want to buy on a high. Homes to live in maybe I would because sometimes the best of houses only come up on a high so stuff the money just buy it if the family's happy. But 2009 to 2012 was the time to buy a rental. Momentum to flippers . Must have. Mad

Landlords are NOT, should not, be the backbone of the country, for crying out loud!!

i agree - but like i said its the hard working professionals who make up the 130,000 landlords with one or two properties - these are not property tycoons - they are professionals who have chosen property as a savings and investment vehicle - they are not to blame - i dont see people moaning about all those who chose to invest/save using stocks and shares, antique art, bonds as their vehicles ?

As many commentators here say - they outperform property over the long run - so why no vitriolic abuse for them - pure jealousy -

Or are you suggesting that those not working are the backbone of our country ? And we should increase their benefits - remove sanctions for stealing and make dope legal to help them out !

Here's why, housing is a basic human need, houses are built for people to make homes in, NOT to serve as a never lose casino for a few. The only way this landlording game can work is if there is sufficient people in housing stressed situations, basically meaning shut out of the market. If you cannot see how this situation creates a them and us scenario then you might be being wilfully blind. You do not deny the young couple you just outbid for a house when you invest in the share market and yes, making riches off those is far more palatable than our current housing market and the insidious business of farming people, which our tenancy laws essentially support.
All power to any government prepared to address the awful mess housing NZers has become, be it via more home ownership or far better tenancy laws. Bring it on!!

I think we might have reached that critical threshold/tipping point where the volume of 'renters' is out numbering the darklords and home owners in sufficient number to have become politically significant...

I didn't mention capital gains. Some times like now capital gains are miles over the top. I'm unsure. On one hand I don't see big up swings that helpful . But also we need rentals and investors . Mostly we need a good balance between what people pay to rent. Rental property prices and how much prices go up over a period keeping in mind incomes. I guess like anything a rental is a business and if it makes money it should always pay taxes. If you keep a investment property for 30 years against 2 years. I don't know

The dole is taxed as well.

Ocelot , you ignore the fact that those with assets have forgone spending and saved hard to buy the assets

Just because someone has done everything they can to get in a position of power and financial advantage over others does not mean that they deserve the rents they are able to extract.

If we're all spending our lives climbing over each other to push land prices up and extract rents out of the working classes this country is just headed into a neofeudal abyss.

A land tax with a very narrow or targeted definition - such as one that only applied to vacant land that is zoned residential - would be useful as well in terms of countering land banking. Or say, a land tax that applied to all existing properties currently being used for short term tenancies (i.e., Air BNB, Bookabach etc.) would be extremely useful.

It's a matter of creating dis-incentives from a tax perspective to solve some of the housing pressures we have where NZ households are concerned. The benefit being, the additional tax collected then allows further money to be made available for infrastructure and affordable home builds.

The only reason one might want a land tax applicable to all land is if one wanted to do a 'tax switch' as opposed to raise new tax revenue. A selective or targeted land tax would achieve the latter.

@Kate ............ please explain how on earth a land tax or any other tax is going to make housing more affordable ?

It ( the tax) is an expense that is going to have to be paid by the ( possibly struggling ) young homeowner , who will have to either find the money , or if it is a rental pass the cost on to the tenant

And furthermore , how do you apply a land tax to a single bedroom on Air BNB that is only let out 20 days out of 365........... it will cost more to manage , collect and verify than it will generate for the fiscus .

Or tax a home let 10 days over Christmas when the residents are visiting family elsewhere ? The calculations for deductions for lights , water , cleaning , proportionate share of Rates , Insurance and mortgage costs will be a nightmare

Hi Boatman, in answer to each of your specific points:

It ( the tax) is an expense that is going to have to be paid by the ( possibly struggling ) young homeowner , who will have to either find the money , or if it is a rental pass the cost on to the tenant

Not applicable to the young homeowner. From a CGT perspective on a rental property, the tax is not paid until the asset is sold - so no effect on rents. But it does effect investment behaviour and fewer investors competing with FHBs means lower prices for FHBs.

And furthermore , how do you apply a land tax to a single bedroom on Air BNB that is only let out 20 days out of 365........... it will cost more to manage , collect and verify than it will generate for the fiscus.

Check out the differential rating policy that Queenstown Lakes District Council already applies in this regard.

Or tax a home let 10 days over Christmas when the residents are visiting family elsewhere ? The calculations for deductions for lights , water , cleaning , proportionate share of Rates , Insurance and mortgage costs will be a nightmare

As above, 10 days per annum falls under the threshold. So the differential rate does not apply.

Scroll up. Alex's article, the article your comment is below, actually explained how a land tax on non-family homes would likely reduce the values of the non-taxed family homes.

It will make property investment less attractive, reducing demand and increasing supply. The renters will become homeowners. Airbnb will ultimately be regulated because it is effective removing housing stock for residents. The land tax would need to be as simple as GST is but because theoretically it will prevent people from banking it will be cost-neutral to the users and punish the ones who are exploiting it. Probably like yourself.

Thought one.
Assuming land banking has been an unintended consequence of previous regulatory changes, then rather than increase taxation to combat that failing would it not make more sense to dig our the root problems in the previous regulations and fix them?

Thought two.
Should the tax be as targeted as narrowly as you propose it may not raise the money Labour need to fill their budget promises.

In answer to the specific points you raise, Ralph:

Assuming land banking has been an unintended consequence of previous regulatory changes, then rather than increase taxation to combat that failing would it not make more sense to dig our the root problems in the previous regulations and fix them?

The regulatory environment that encourages land banking is that under the LGA. Councils have failed to provide the dis-incentive to land banking that the current rating tools would allow - that being a differential tax on vacant land within residential-zoned land-holdings. So, yes, the problem could be fixed by either local or central government.

Should the tax be as targeted as narrowly as you propose it may not raise the money Labour need to fill their budget promises.

All of their current proposals are costed and can be paid for via current settings. So a narrowly targeted land or capital gains tax will be new money, or depending on the ability to accurately forecast it, could be used as an offset for income tax, GST. or company tax.

Thanks Kate.

So if the land banking problem is a regulatory construct that could be solved without placing greater burdens on people, why don't we do that instead?

It seems to me "taxation-as-a solution-to-everything" is the last refuge of the lazy.

It does look like that is what the Labour established TWG is likely to be set to looking at instead. Bear in mind, the principle reason they are looking at taxation further relates to their objectives to make home ownership more affordable. Land banking of vacant land being one problem and speculative purchase for capital gain is another.

I do bear that in mind, remembering it was US government policy to create more home owners, especially at the lower end of the socio-economic scale. Boy did the banking industry climb on board for them or what?

I am too old to think the law of unintended consequences won't apply in this case. Of course being wary is no excuse for doing nothing.

More affordable is a "relative term" - a $1 decrease is "more affordable"

I reckon Auckland house prices have gone beyond Government's ability to "fix" - about the only weapon or tool available to them will be to introduce First Home Buyer Grants of say $30,000 and sit back and say mission accomplished

The one outstanding issue is establishing a true definition of a FHB. In AU when first introduced the wealthy with children gorged themselves by buying a property for each of their children and claiming the grants. Then there is the wealthy middle aged economic refugee migrant lobbing into Auckland from elsewhere having never purchased a property in NZ before never having paid taxes and claiming an instant cash free prize courtesy the NZ taxpayer

Kate those things are important, but the most important thing that can be done to help first home buyers is for the government to get in and build a lot of housing and ensure it is sold at affordable price points to first home buyers.
Kiwibuild is a very good start.

Len Brown (LAB) and Phil Goff (LAB) have cut off land supply to Auckland City and opened up vast areas of residential land in the wider region. Where is the vacant land, it is not around Auckland?

When Aucklanders mention landbankers they are talking about private house on large lots that could be converted to higher density and here is Labour saying they won't tax the private home.

The whole problem could be solved if Labour opened up a reasonable amount of land around Auckland, but they could have easily done this for 8 years. Phil Goff refuses to do this, just last month blocking development at Takanini and rushing forward with more sprawl at Warkworth.

The post-earthquake experience in Christchurch demonstrates that central government has plenty enough power to address the questions to raise, should they want to solve a problem. The central government has plenty of influence and power, even more than local government.

How can National have enough power to amalgamate a bunch of councils into a supercity, but be powerless to address the housing crisis and regulatory aspects of it?

Are they unmotivated, or incompetent?

Glad you acknowledge the good work National government has done in Christchurch.
Do you think they should disband Labour-led Auckland Council that willfully failed to address the housing issue in Auckland ?

Not necessarily that far as a specific measure - however I'm glad you acknowledge they have the power to act and to influence if they wish to. They've instead done nothing meaningful in any area of the housing crisis, despite campaigning on it. And they still continue to deny it exists, as they have ever since they came into power.

Since the Nats/Act created the Super City, I would say nothing helpful - not nothing. This utter dogs breakfast classifies Auckland and Warkworth as the inside the Auckland RUB. How difficult was it to work out the difference between a small town and a ginormous city?

And the Nats drove Auckland to open up way more land, but it is all around Warkworth or Huapai or Riverhead or Pukekohe or Orewa - not around Auckland. But the Super City law says that it is around Auckland, because it is badly written law. And since the plan is always cut land supply to Auckland and open more sprawl around the bits of Auckland that aren't Auckland - it just gets worse. Every time the plan fails to deliver, we get a bigger more expensive version of the same useless mess.

Only someone who is not a CHCH resident would claim National has done 'good work' in CHCH.
Billions wasted and 10s of thousands of houses left with incomplete repairs .
100s of millions in lost equity due to the CBD being cordoned off for two years .
It's apparent that behind the well funded PR facade- National is a cesspool of dishonesty and incompetence.
NZ cannot afford another term of National's ideological short term-ism.

I live in Christchurch and believe the government did good work here. Not that they should get all the credit. Or all the blame.

Not perfect, but who is?

What part did they get right.?
I appreciate the efforts of those on the ground - the repair of horizontal infrastructure for example,
but the governments role has been a disaster from the day 'Dungers Brownlee was given the reins.
An arrogant know it all who cost the city 100s of millions, and dozens of functioning EQ strengthened heritage buildings.
Multiple court cases have found against the govt, and there is thousands more still to play out over decades.
An utter failure by any measure.

But not an utter failure by everyone's measure.

Neither

They were busy setting up a $450 million irrigation slush fund for Canterbury Dairy Farmers

Where is the vacant land, it is not around Auckland?

My understanding is that the vacant land already identified as Special Housing Areas (SHAs) are residential-zoned land ready for subdivision and development within the existing AKL urban boundary.

Are these areas not "around Auckland" by your reckoning?

Labour policy is to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary:

Labour will remove the Auckland urban growth boundary and free up density controls. This will give Auckland more options to grow, as well as stopping landbankers profiteering and holding up development. New developments, both in Auckland and the rest of New Zealand, will be funded through innovative infrastructure bonds.

http://www.labour.org.nz/housing

Hence the matter would no longer be a decision for ACC - and indeed they'd have no problem with that, as the main objection they/Phill Goff had related to how to pay for the cost of infrastructure to the boundary - and Labour have countered that objection with a means to fund that infrastructure..

Those areas, the non-utilised SHAs, are tiny.

There is an implemented Labour policy to block land to Auckland City, this is what Labour has done for 8 years. And that proposed Labour policy is a great policy, but it has that major problem. The policy was announced a year ago, but the Labour Party in Auckland Council didn't do it. In fact last month Phil Goff banned yet another area of land at Takanini.

And it is not about cost, Phil Goff is building sprawl at a record pace. Everywhere in the Auckland Region, except at the boundary of Auckland City, the council is slapping in new infrastructure.

I just hope they stick to their word and make sure all the unique growing soils of the Pukekohe-Bombay areas are preserved for food production and not concreted over, that would be so damned stupid, I think I would cancel my subscription to the human race.

"A land tax with a very narrow or targeted definition - such as one that only applied to vacant land that is zoned residential - would be useful as well in terms of countering land banking"
I tend to agree - however there is no indication that Labour would be introducing something this narrowly defined - and they are not going to give the public a chance to vote on it either. Your are simply speculating what their intentions are -as we are all forced to by their approach . Interestingly when those on the other side of politics try to read their intentions you just label it "scaremongering" .

No, they've made it very clear that the target of any new tax proposals are speculators.

See the heading to their housing policy here;

Crack down on speculators
http://www.labour.org.nz/housing

If you are after slogans you will find them there . I would like to see policies before I vote for them.

Click on the bold sentences in red on that page. They are called hyperlinks;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperlink

and will take you to the more specific policies you are looking for.

Sounds lovely Kate. However the hyperlinks on the housing page do not mention the tax working group that will suggest *insert tax here* so that Labour can implement it. Is there a hyperlink to give me details on that?

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What the hell is the point in ANOTHER tax working group, then?
As Gareth Morgan said last night when questioned whether he would sit on the working group - "Why? I've already done two."

One of Sir Humphrey's golden rules was never to start an inquiry until you had already decided the outcome. I think it clearly follows from this principle that everyone has to start their own inquiry so they can automagically "discover" their own pre-decided outcomes.

Very important - as the recommendations that were picked up by the National government from the 2009 report were not the ones that addressed property asset price inflation and speculation which seems to be Labour's focus.

I disagree on the basis that the report will come to, essentially, the same conclusions.
And, the outcome will be the same as the National approach - the complete opposite will be done.

I think what you are saying is that, like the National government, the Labour government will not implement the full suite of recommendations - but rather will "cherry-pick" those that suit?

Yes, I hear you. All the more reason why it is good that Labour are 'ruling out' those things that are unacceptable to them up front. In other words, we know what the TORs will exclude - hence we can only but hope that what comes out from the experts actually gets taken up.

"Yes, I hear you. All the more reason why it is good that Labour are 'ruling out' those things that are unacceptable to them up front."
Okay, so why do the process...again...?

They know what the recommendations will be and they have stated a stance which is in direct conflict to those recommendations.
So it's logical that they pursue the whole process over again?
I don't think so.

Okay, so why do the process...again...?

Because the terms of reference have changed since the one commissioned by the National government. That one did not exclude consideration of various taxes that might be levied on the family home. A new study would be required due to the exclusions that are specific to Labour's objectives.

"..terms of reference have changed"

Sir Humphrey - is that you??

(Couldn't resist)

Well yes, I've done a lot of both drawing up contracts for supply of consultancy advice and responding to RFIs and RFPs for the provision of consultancy advice - and the terms of reference are an extremely important part of those bureaucratic exercises.

So, yeah, guilty - I understand well how bureaucracy works.

Lol, like bees all of us become tainted by the environment in which we play.

Tainted how? Do you think the administration of government contracts is largely a closed shop where terms of reference are not needed?

Oh no, I meant in the way as when bees go about their business, crawling through flowers, they unavoidably become coated in pollen until, if you watch them arrive back to the hive, they are literally plastered with it all over.

And how that is similar to how the words we use in our workplaces unavoidably become part of our vernacular to the point that we ourselves do not notice and phrases like 'terms of reference' pop out.

I have dealt with enough government contracts to notice it and simply found it an amusing aside.

Edit: Tainted was a poor choice of word as it often has a negative connotation. It was not meant that way. Apologies.

Around and around in circles.
I hope this isn't the change you are advocating for, Kate.

nymad, if you've got a way to take the bureaucracy out of government contacts - I'm all ears.

Terms of reference exist as a means to improve transparency.

The alternative is backhanders.

Kate.
Sorry, I should have been clearer.
The terms of reference haven't changed.
It's the same mandate was given to the tax working group under National - comparative statics on both taxation with family home included and family home exempted.

As I say, the outcome will be exactly the same.
Hence, around and around in circles we go.

I wish Labour was not so hell bent on taking more money wherever they can from hard-working Kiwis .

This tax working group is a ruse and a smokescreen being used to not answer straightforward questions honestly.

Most importantly who is going to sit on the Tax Working Group ?

Labour actually has some good ideas and their desire to reduce poverty , get young adults into trades and their stance on environmental issues are actually worth voting for .

The problem seems to be that the party has been hijacked by extremists , and they are taking advice from the likes of Ganesh Nana and that spells trouble .

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I think they've been pretty clear that they want the new study to determine whether their 5 year 'bright line' test will have the positive impact that they are hoping with respect to dampening asset speculation in the housing market. And they want to determine whether the current tax system treats all income fairly.

The only reason there is this persistent questioning about what Labour's intention is is coming from that sector of society who do not want these two questions explored because the outcome might mean that they pay more tax.

And that small group of New Zealanders (i.e., those benefiting from property speculation) keep trying to "co-opt" wider NZ by scaremongering regarding the family home.

@Kate , Nonsense , you are delusional , the problem is not with asset speculation at all , the real problem is that demand for housing has blown out with around 350,000 new people arriving here since 2010

We have never had 100,000 spare houses to house these 350,000 newcomers , the houses simply did not exist, and thats why low income Kiwis are living in cars.

There was no housing shortage during the GFC , there were enough houses for everyone , so why has this happened ?

Quite simply its the unforseen consequence of mass inward migration .

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Boatman, talk to any first home buyer and they will tell you without exception that they are competing against property speculators (i.e., local rental property investors) and overseas buyers - in other words, non-owner occupiers.

That truism is as plain as the nose on your face.

And yes, many of these speculators are in the market because of our out of control immigration policy (and the fact that we allow overseas persons/entities to purchase existing homes in NZ). For example, take 30,000 international students out of the need for accommodation market in the Auckland area and immediately rents decline and speculators find purchasing less attractive. And make these overseas persons purchase new builds only, and you have one less competitor class working against the FHBer.

These are Labour policies that will make a huge difference - and swiftly.

Kate "Boatman, talk to any first home buyer and they will tell you without exception that they are competing against property speculators (i.e., local rental property investors) and overseas buyers - in other words, non-owner occupiers".......No they don't you have made that up!!!

I have 3 young adult children (late 20's to early 30's) and they have all got themselves onto the property ladder and they have never once said they were competing against property speculators!!!

Yes, well I've got two young adult children and both would tell you the opposite. But the anecdotal experience of just you and me, notaneconomist, is not that useful. You need to sample wider than your own experience.

Perhaps it depends on where they live. I have a few young extended family members <35 that have rentals, and one of them has multiple rentals as well as their own home BUT they have bought in provincial towns, not cities. Well one has just moved to Tauranga as it was a requirement of his job. So instead of selling his home he bought another one on the outskirts of Tauranga and now rents out his former home. That takes the number of rentals he owns to 3.
Conversely I have a family member who would like to buy a house in Central Otago, where they work, but houses are rising faster than he can save. As a single person with no partner, it is proving to be quite a challenge.

Kate you used the words "without exception" perhaps a bit of exaggertion on your behalf ;-) .

All my kids friends have also got on the property ladder and like mine, most own more than one home.

Agreed, As I said before, some commentators who have no idea what is really happening in the market are just either repeating what is on websites or assuming a convenient specific reason (speculators) as being the main culprit ....

"renters will own their own homes if land tax was introduced" really?/ which renters will buy their rental and are capable to pay almost twice their weekly rent ?? if they have enough deposit, that is.... [even when prices fall by 20% ]

What Land tax will do is that it will stall the market - landlords and other who will be affected by it will pay the tax and will NOT sell until the next ELECTION ...!! and the legislature of such tax will leave with a lot of eggs and mud on their face ... they might need another 9 years for the public to forgive them for that ...

It is hard to assume that Labour will NOT Need extra money from additional taxes to cover their ambiguous budget and excessive spending promises....and everyone knows that once a specific Tax is introduced there will be no guarantee that it wont be exploited and increased as needed ( all for the common good) !!

landlords and other who will be affected by it will pay the tax and will NOT sell until the next ELECTION

So is that an admission that the tax free component of a capital gain is what attracts most rental property investors into the market? It's not like any capital gains tax would equate to 100% of the gain - in other words, there is still income or gain - only it's a tax paid (i.e., net) gain, as opposed to a tax free (i.e., gross) one.

"capital gain is what attracts most rental property investors"

Aside from a handful of old timers I am sure that is the case. This whole mess is a long series of regulatory failures. You dump great piles of honey on the front lawn and lo-and-behold bears appear. Gosh.

I'm not so sure. Don't forget, we are only talking about the tax free component of the potential capital gain. Provided one can purchase the asset at a price such that one can achieve a return on the asset greater than that of other investment vehicles, and provided one enjoys the work of being a landlord and looking after the needs of tenants - then rental property investment is a very valid choice for many people.

I think taxing the capital gain would drive speculators out and make room for genuine people who are building a good business.

Actually on that note, it was truly spectacular how many people I knew who became overnight property investors when the earthquakes constrained housing supply and EQC repairs pushed up demand for short term rentals.

That's predatory and sad. The sort of thing that ought to be regulated against.

One resulting rule-of-thumb that came from the experience was, any time people start using the phrase "you are a mug if you don't", it is a huge red flag that you almost certainly shouldn't.

Kate, you keep mixing CGT with Land Tax and speculators with Property investors ...
I was clearly talking about Land tax which is the Subject of discussion today....
Capital gain is one of the reasons why Investors buy, Hold, and operate a rental business with all its lawful rules, taxes, and exemptions for decades ... adding another tax will affect the entire economy ...Capital Gain is NOT a crime and it actually compensates for property erosion, maintenance, and expenses which rents can never cover --- so it is a deferred business expense that landlords spend for many years hoping to get that back at the end of the business life ( retirement) !! -- Now that is very easy to understand

Look, I appreciate that you are acting as the spin doctor for all Labour policies and that is fine .. But, as you see, some of us here are trying to point out that "terms of reference" and Bold Banners are not going to cut it - and trying to explain the realities of Market instead of pure political assumptions by Labour and its cheerleaders
Labour are becoming very suspicious by their own doings ( they have been slack and did not do enough homework) ... they refuse to come clean and say what they will do by hanging it around the neck of some "selected Working Group" and that is Unacceptable to some (most) of us ( stakeholders) !!

If Labour would commit to put the results and any proposed tax laws to a public referendum after the WG and abide with the results of such referendum - then we could give them the benefit of the doubt !! Until then they are guilty of hiding something until proved otherwise and will tarnish any good policies they have in place !!

Well spoken, Eco Bird.

You're correct: Labour's tax policies are an ambiguous hotchpotch if ever there was.

At least National's policy is clear. You know what you're voting for.

Okay Kate , we can agree to disagree , the fact that investors are in the market shows there is demand for rental stock . At these prices virtually no one can afford to have an empty house so investors must have tenants .

Yet , its almost impossible to rent a home in Auckland, and empty rental houses on the Shore either dont exist or are near impossible to find

So if Labour removes investors from the market completely, who on earth will provide housing to the next 70,000 migrants due here in the next 365 days ?

A Labour Government ?

Really ?

With a 4,000 family waiting list at Housing New Zealand ?

When we have Kiwi's living in cars ?

So if Labour removes investors from the market completely, who on earth will provide housing to the next 70,000 migrants due here in the next 365 days ?

They don't intend to remove property investors from the market altogether. They intend to dis-incentivise those who purchase rental properties primarily for the tax free capital gains that they potentially afford. I hope that not all people who enter into tenancy related businesses do so simply for the tax free capital gains.

With fewer property investors, the uptake of these (in particular) low end properties will be largely first home buyers. In fact, what you might find is that many existing landlords would simply sell their loss-making rental properties to their existing tenants - should their principle reason for being in the tenancy business be the prospect of a tax free capital gain.

Sorry to disappoint you kate, but that pinpointed surgical instrument you are talking about does not Work in the REAL rental market .... read my comment above....over 80% or renters simply cannot buy their rentals unless it drops to by 50% !! they just cannot afford it ...Anyone who is paying $400 pw in rent in auckland will need to pay more than $700pw to service the same property mortgage and expenses ( even at a discounted price) - That is IF they find a bank to lend them at 7.89% serviceability interest rate as it is the case today !! ... Most renters (people) have no idea of what the real cost of running a property ( they simply never added these up) !! ... there are plenty of 500-600K properties for sale ATM... where are the FHBers?? why are these not snapped up yet?

Repeating the same mantra that FHB are being pushed by speculators does not make it the norm or the reason for their misfortune - these speculators are ALL now tied down by LVR and Lending restrictions by Banks .... Free markets have their bitter disadvantages at time .. and this period was one of these !

So let's stop kidding ourselves and assuming that life will become rosy after a Land Tax ... it will simply Not, and will wreck the economy ... ( it certainly won't add any positive sentiments to business)

And BTW, Labour is not doing themselves any favours by dishing around exclusions on the hoof as they go or keeping things under wraps - because day after day, as Alex mentioned, it shows that they have no specific well studied plan and could well run the country on the Hoof once in power ....

80% or renters simply cannot buy their rentals unless it drops to by 50% !!

And indeed perhaps in AKL in particular, that is a drop that might be on the cards, depending on how effective Labour's suite of policies on housing are. The current 10:1 ratio of house price to income is indeed absolutely unsustainable - just as is the movement in Accommodation Supplements forever upwards to counter the problem.

Ok Kate, now you have completely lost it,... Suggesting that " 50% drop in Auckland is on the cards" is not only an arrogant call but proves what this suicidal Party could be planning on doing ... and what their "suite of policies on housing" might lead to -- Surely a one eyed or even Blind Knee-Jerk policy to say the least ... :)

And BTW, that is good news !! because they would be Booted out leader,team and al before the end of their first term if they do that -- it also proves that anyone arguing the possibility of such thing happening ( like Mr Grimes did) is beyond silly and economic literate ....

I doubt that The NZ public will allow anyone to wreck the country by killing its asset Values for whatever "absolutely unsustainable" reason !!

You obviously cannot even see that the increase in AS is to prevent people living in buses and motel until more houses can be built to solve their issues - and to enable them to better their accommodation status , i.e. moving to bigger houses or leaving damp and cold ones ...

AS is not provided to low income workers !!... it is for beneficiaries ...which Labour is trying to protect and help ( ALBEIT using its own blunt instruments) ...
what you just said is simply shortsightedness !!

It is possible AS increase works out cheaper than buying/leasing houses or Motels for people on the benefit until the gradual building state houses which is on the way ... but hey, why split hairs when we have a surplus to spend !!

You have just contradicted one of Jacinda's promises in the debate of keeping the value of the family homes intact ....Jesus !! enough said, I think you have lost your case on this matter .... happy dreams and happy spins !!

It was you, not me, and I'm assuming you know better than me as I'm assuming you rent to some of these families that need a 50% drop in prices.

Labour are also planning on cutting migration a bit as well don't forget, so don't vote Act to prop up National Boatman, as that will not help at all...

"The only reason there is this persistent questioning about what Labour's intention is is coming from that sector of society who do not want these two questions explored" - you are missing the point ,
If they intended to set up a working group AND bring any recommendations they think should be implemented to the voters that would be OK - but of course they are refusing to do that . It is the case of "we will pick the experts we like , and implement whatever we like of what they recommend .. you the voter can just get staffed if you do not agree".

Yes, back to Sir Humphrey's golden rule.

Kate, one item I would like explored is the inequity of those public servants that are paid the same whether they are based in Auckland or Taihape. If there ever was an unfairness for New Zealanders are those stuck in Auckland getting paid the same as someone teaching at Papanui Junction school. That is an unfair distribution of tax payer money.

It's an issue I have some experience of as I previously managed a government business that had branches throughout New Zealand. At that stage, Auckland RE prices were perhaps only 20% higher than the national average but the pressure for higher wages in Auckland was already an issue. Not sure what that differential in average house prices is presently.

But, the point I made then was that the only staff in Auckland that were penalised by the pay scale being applicable throughout New Zealand were those that were either transferred by me to Auckland (in which case I had the ability to remedy that in that most transfers were for promotion, and hence the salary scale took care of that) or my staff that were first home buyers. All the others were simply buying and selling in the same market.

So, the decision I made then was not to implement a salary scale differential.

Now, the government has attempted to assist the first home buyers via their Kiwisaver/Home start initiatives, but in Auckland that means for FHB nurses, police, teachers etc. it isn't enough.

Hence what needs to happen is that more affordable houses need to be made available either through normal market mechanisms or via government intervention in the housing, as opposed to the labour, market.

Teachers..not a good example..they are all underpaid....not unfair at all on tax payers money...at around 72k top of the teacher general scale is relatively low for professionals anywhere in the country....say it doesn't go that far in Papanui either....

It's interesting that you specifically referred to hard working kiwis.

Traditional applications of land-tax are countered with an equivalent reduction in income tax.

People who work for their income would end up better off.

People who rely on property value growth would be worse off, particularly owners of multiple properties.

Are Labour proposing income tax reductions?

Hahahahaha.

Yes if that is what the experts recommend in order to make the tax system fairer (i.e., to tax all income in an equal way).

Lol "tax all income in a equal way". That's why she initially opted to increase tax to 36% for income $150k and over. More like taking from the rich (also "hard working kiwis") and giving freely to the poor

I tell you, some people are blind guided to the slaughterhouse !!!

So are you saying the poor are not hard working Kiwi's. Not all people that are poor are on benefits. People that work minimum wage work harder than the top income earners. When I use to do payroll for a company, I saw a lot of employees that had rentals properties only paying 3% in PAYE so how is that fair and equitable for all other hard working kiwi's.

Perhaps take a course in reading. No where did I say the poor aren't hard workers. This is what's wrong with all the lefties on here, ya just read what you want to believe. But labour definitely plan to strip money off people that worked to build their wealth & that is a socialist cop out of the highest order. Taxinda won't ever get my vote... absolute farce. God help NZ.

for the record I'm not left or right voter I sit in the middle, but I do have an social conscious. If I was able to vote on policies only I would taking policies from every party. As no one as all the answers but I am sick of National not doing enough on property they campaign back in 2008 they would make property more affordable instead they let the market run away again. They have used immigration to grow GDP, but didn't allow for what that that would do for housing and Infrastructure. They have been living in Denial. I also do not like seeing property investors only paying 3% tax. The ones that are cash flow positive and have gone in paying taxes at normal rates are not an issue.

Really? Could you Hyperlink the page where Labour promises to implement all that the experts recommend in order to make the tax system fairer? I don't think there would be a debate if this hyperlink existed...

Aren't the hard working Kiwis paying PAYE while lazy property owners make millions on their cold damp properties and don't pay a cent in tax? How dare Labour try and correct that!

Small steps. It would be political suicide now, but give it time .....Our Nat mates did diddly squat, we really need TOP policy. Rachael Hunter knows how it works.

Confirms my suspicions. Slowly slowly catchy monkey is the likely strategy Taxinda is following.

YES ...50% Auckland property price drop ...lol

get that family home out of that family trust after election day... 300,000 to 500,000 trusts in new zealand...
or your little family bach you had for 30 years? http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11...

Grant Robertson has confirmed a family home in a trust would not be taxed in any possible GCT.

But don't let the facts that in your way, just keep scaremongering.

So Zombie , do you know how CGT works ?

When does it fall due ?

When does it get paid ?

Do you know how simple it is to never have to pay the CG tax by simply not realising the gain and borrowing against the asset ?

If Nanna dies , how long have you ( the heirs) got before you have to sell her home to pay CGT on her home?

If the gains are taxed then the losses must be deductable , so what if you make a Capital loss ( say due to a mortgagee sale ) how does the Government reimburse you for the Capital loss ?

Surely you guys realise that it would not be the first CGT implemented anywhere in the world? Why is it so hard to conceive that the mechanisms around it are able to be legislated? It's as if you believe places that have it currently only exist in fairytales or a parallel universe.

@Rick , you are right , we are not the first , but the real problem with any new tax is we dont know how it will impact until its sprung on us .

I dont have a problem with 10% of the gain being taxed , but if the gain is added to your personal income tax , then it will all be taxed at 33% .

That would be a disaster especially for low income earners who are taxed at say 10% , inherit a home from parent and be forced to sell it to pay the CGT

In addition will investors be allowed deductions or be allowed to capitalise the cost of improvements , mortgage repayments , insurance , repairs and Maint , accounting fees , valuers fees ?

We are totally in the dark

In countries where its been implemented , there has been a 3 year phase -in , and the only people who have made money were Valuers and Accountants

It can be implemented - and it is not hard to conceive how. So why do not Labour tell us exactly what they have in mind and let us vote on it ?
I am not being sarcastic here ; I would not necessarily oppose a CGT - the devil is in the detail and I think we have a right to see it and vote on it.

It's getting to the point you guys sound willfully in the dark.

Labour have clarified that if a tax panel recommends a CGT/Land tax, the family home will be exempted from any such home if such a tax is ever implemented in the future. As you guys note, it can be implemented and the details can be worked out.

No reason for the average Kiwi "mum and pop" to fear such a tax, and in fact - as one of a number of factors - it may indeed help them in retirement, where they won't need to worry so much about leaving as much of their capital to their children as possible.

If a Kiwi family believes that those making large amounts of money from speculation should have to contribute a fair share to society...well then, it's a reasonable action to vote for a party that is at least open to the idea, rather than one who is completely dedicated to ensuring that it is workers alone who should bear the brunt of tax.

Pretty simple stuff really.

Labour have had 9 years in opposition, without responsibility for day to day running the country, and yet haven't found the time to actually work out and present detailed tax policies for voters to decide upon, instead telling us they need an extension to do their overdue homework. (Wait till after the election to figure out the details) and in meantime wing it and change their policy on a day to day basis, CGT and Land tax only coming on the radar this last week and not in any fully thought out way.

Labour has been lazy, they are a million miles away from being ready to govern,and frankly an embarrassment, NZ deserves better. If they had any honour they would pay back the MP salaries they have been drawing while in opposition and not doing their job.

To busy apologising for being born male?

(cheap shot I know)

Stating that you'll not exclude the possibility of introducing a tax in future should it seem necessary and be recommended by experts is not "having a policy but no details".

This is pretty simple stuff.

How do you know how much fill you need to plug an ever-deepening hole until they take over

"Pretty simple stuff really."
- if it is that simple , what is stopping Labour from putting it in front of us as a detailed policy proposal we could factor in our votes in the election ?

Simple in that broad non specific devil-isn't-in-the-details kind of way.

Edit: But seriously, at this stage of the Labour election campaign dreams trump realities. Details won't win them the election.

"But seriously, at this stage of the Labour election campaign dreams trump realities. Details won't win them the election."
This is the problem.. Rock star status wins NZ elections, when details affect eveyone... The same reason John Key was so bad for our country is the same reason that Jacinda is becoming a rock star. In 3 terms we will do it all again. To misquote Einstein, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."

Asked and answered, lazybones.

Utter nonsense . .. whatever Labour are paying you is far too much.

It was only two or so comments further up too. You should've been able to find it.

I've never once voted Labour. I'm a long-time National voter. I'm in no party's employ. But I can see National hasn't delivered, has broken promises, and has lied to NZ. I've had enough.

methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Why should they put it front of you - it's not going to make a blind bit of difference to you - is it

Wrong .

I dont have a problem with 10% of the gain being taxed , but if the gain is added to your personal income tax , then it will all be taxed at 33%

Boatman, what is your rationale or reasoning for why income from the sale of a property should be taxed at a much lesser rate (i.e., 10%) than income from your labour or income from the profit on your business (i.e., around 30%)?

dp

I can tell you what has been stated.

Any possible CGT would be payable on realisation (sale) only, not on an accrual basis.

Borrowing against an asset isn't really side stepping the tax, that's debt, not free money. Defer sure, but not avoid.

Regarding Nanna, I haven't seen this addressed. Is your concern that families murdering their Nanna's is going to become a popular vehicle for property speculation? Wouldn't a simple solution be to have a valuation done within say six months which provides a baseline (i.e. any gains made up until that person's death not subject, any after are). It's really not that hard if you want to make it work. Also confirmed, is that if Nanna gifted the house to say son or daughter and it becomes their family home, there is no GCT.

On deductions it would have to be the same just about every other damn country in the world that has one! It's an offset against income, which can be carried forward as long as needed, but never paid back as cash.

Trust that allays your concerns and you won't have cause to be concerned for at least the next 4 minutes until your next rant?

"Trust that allays your concerns ? " - no it does not ; it comes an anonymous poster on a Web site. Labour should be laying out exactly what are they planning - and letting the voters decide if that is good enough.

I have only repeated what I've seen Labour announce publicly.

For you, if this election boils down to trust (or lack thereof) then that's fair enough.

Personally, being lied to repeatedly by National on a range of issues, has burnt the bridge. The trust is gone. They have failed on just about every measure that matters to me. I am happy to put my trust in Labour to have a crack.

You wrote :
"I have only repeated what I've seen Labour announce publicly."

and also :
"
On deductions it would have to be the same just about every other damn country in the world that has one! It's an offset against income, which can be carried forward as long as needed, but never paid back as cash.
"
Where exactly can I find that last passage in the Labour policies ? - making it up as you go I am afraid.

Three points;

1) Go to 1:11:13 in the finance debate video where Grant Robertson confirms "yes" they will take capital losses into account.
http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/election/2017/08/decision-17-livestream-th...

2) All previous work Labour did on CGT allowed for capital losses.

3) Would have thought my phrasing of "it would have to be" indicated that was my assertion but I can see that is with odds with me "only repeating what I've seen". Per 1) and 2) there was something sitting behind my assertion.

Good on you for calling me on it. Doesn't change the fact that capital losses appear to be taken into account by Labour.

Not enough detail ..
Many ways to take capital losses into account ( CGT regimes vary considerably in that respect internationally )..
And it is not just about capital losses of course :
- when and how would CGT be introduced ( or phased in .. the impacts critically depend on this )
- at what rates ? Again , there is a variety of possibilities if you look internationally ( e.g. marginal income tax rates but with significant discounts for assets held longer as in AU , flat low rate as in USA .. )
- what would be any tax free allowances , if any ( currently around NZD 25K in the UK for example )
( the list continues .. )
It is all important .

Agree it is important and the detail is not there. What proportion of voters would pay attention to some of the details you mention anyway? A few, but probably not most. That's why it comes back to trust. Labour are saying, we'll get a working group to give us some recommendations, you need to trust us we won't stuff it up. Appreciate that is a leap too far for you.

As I said above, I trust them enough to give them a shot. My trust in National is gone.

"I trust them enough to give them a shot"

And here is the reason that detail will not be forthcoming. They are in this to win an election and detail is risk when all they need is faith.

"I trust them enough to give them a shot. " - you are right ; this is what we disagree on . I trust no politician blindly.
What Labour is trying to do is to tell their base that would tax the "rich" to the hilt ; at the same time their are trying to reassure the "rich" ( many of whom are actually nothing of the kind ) that they would be reasonable and "fair". They are playing a double game ; this is not a way to win trust.

I really don't find this scary at all.

Sample of one. As a landowner (family home) plus the owner of one rental property (albeit with a low land value) I'm perfectly happy with having the tax makeup switched. What I pay in income tax and GST dwarfs any potential land tax. However, I'd prefer the tax take stays relatively neutral.

I'm in the asset building phase of my life. I'd like to trade up to me next house. The ultimate dream is to own horticultural land. All of these future ambitions are impacted by potential land tax but not as impacted as by the status quo of inflated asset prices.

I am also tempted by the more theoretically pure policies of TOP, but even if they get in as a minor party they'd only be able to get passed a small slice of a big kahuna. So I'm now no longer seeing much difference between a TOP vote and a Labour vote, each will be a vote to alter the tax take make up which should partially normalise asset values.

@Penfold ......... A new Tax will not solve the housing shortage , it may even make it worse .

As with any tax , it will certainly not make anything cheaper or more affordable

The housing crisis has been a direct result of allowing 350,000 new immigrants in the door when we dont have anywhere near enough houses for them to live in .

Our migrants mostly only get in with either skills ( on the shortage list) or they buy their way in with money or investment , and just like you and me they dont want to pay rent if they can buy a home , and why should they ?

Taxing or punishing Kiwis because the Government has cocked up immigration is not going to solve the problem

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What definitely will not help is giving the current lot your vote of approval for carrying on as they have done for the last 9 years...

If lowering immigration numbers is you main objective, Boatman - Labour's position to lower those numbers by 20-30,000 would be preferable to National's position to retain the current growth in numbers settings. But, NZ First want an even larger reduction.

There isn't a housing shortage where I live. Yet house prices went up 30% in 2 years. My next mortgage will be bigger than I want at this stage of my life. As a relatively asset rich NZer I feel National's inaction is hampering my future choices.

This isn't a single issue topic. It is made up of immigration, overseas QE, low interest rates, investor activity, land supply, local council costs etc etc

I expect an elected government to address those causes that are within it's powers to influence. A land tax will go some way to address 2 of those causes; investor activity and land supply.

Have a read of this abstract on the effects of land tax boatman.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3487662?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

A land tax would most certainly make properties cheaper and rents lower.

So you will keep voting National when they like immigration to artificially grow our economy instead of putting in policy that will increase productivity. National won't change what they are doing as they have got too complacent. Its time for change at least Labour want to invest in Research and Development.

It's beginning to remind me of a conversation I had with a colleague in 1981 after the Labour win then.

The comment - 'you have to remember, these guys are fearless'

Fearless + 'Vision' = Hide yer Wallet.....

It is certainly very true that the easiest money to spend is someone else's money.

Do you mean the Labour win in 1984? Muldoon was the incumbent government in 1981.

Yes, Muldoon, the Think Big interventionist. Freeze prices and wages, then watch the economy fall apart, leading to the floating of the Dollar. It was the lesson we all should reflect on when thinking we can tax a market into submission. Boxing tax payers into a corner doesn't work. Like the proverbial octopus in the string bag, as soon as you get one tentacle in another pops out. I care about my grand children's future so it is my duty to keep hands off my wealth to the extent allowed by law.

The big Interventionalist is the Central Banks & current monetary policy. Muldoon doesn't come close. Maybe reflect on that if you're considering your grandchildrens future.

You know the more in-equal a society, the more crime there is. Choosing a government which will fix imbalances in the economy which are exacerbating inequality would be a better investment for your grand children.

Your property wealth lies in its utility, not its paper value. Paper value going up is actually everyone getting poorer, as their income is dropping compared to how much it costs to buy a shelter.

There is equality of opportunity and that is enough....those that don't take the opportunity have no right to sit back and demand a chunk of someone else who did!

Or perhaps you support Fabian Communism.

Oo, I can see it now. Back to the future with "Think even bigger".

A country with abundant resources and a small highly educated population should not be that hard to run.

You are right , the country should be able to run itself with minimal Government , but our highly complex tax system is about to get more complicated if Labour wins

It might be about to become more complex, but the NZ tax system is several measure simpler than Australia.

@Ralph , you are correct on that score

Highly complex tax system? Is that your personal experience?

I can hardly imagine the amount of effort any multinational has to put into the intricate dance of three or four different tax authorities, even if they strive to keep everything above board.

So you are advocating for a global, i.e., "one world" taxation system?

First thought is probably not, but a lot depends on checks and balances.

I am certainly in favour of international tax rationalisation and simplification.

What we have now is an adversarial based nationalistic hypocrisy.

The tax system is so complex in NZ that only those in business undertake the tax collection and paperwork obligations as the IRD and politicians think the rest of the people incapable of doing it.

This is very amusing! NZ has a very simple and straight-forward tax system. I am more than a little bit familiar with the US tax system, which is very complex, literal orders of magnitude more complex than the NZ tax system.

I am not in favor of exceptions being put in place on CGT or land tax. If one is going to do either, do it correctly without attempting to curry favor with a particular voting block. The US went down this path of exceptionalism and loopholes, which resulted in a horribly cumbersome and difficult tax code.

So as a business owner you find PAYE and GST administration is complex/costly?

What would be your recommended alternates?

As a business owner I find NZ tax quite simple. Simple because there are few exceptions.

NZ is way too small to run complexity and in my opinion this should be kept in mind in any new tax.

Ms. Arden has never had a real job and nothing that impressive in Parliament either. Most of her claim to fame was that she was young and now not the PM or Andrew Little (remember him - he was going to be the PM many Labour supporters told me). I think it is coming very clear that she isn't up to the task. It is a very simple question - what is Labour's policy? I can't believe a person that wants to be PM can say to voters "I reserve the right to impose a tax".

Hand this country to a 37 years old. You got be kidding me.

I have no concern about age, it is the lack of demonstrated ability or deep comprehension demonstrated by someone who wants to lead our country - Arderns' 2 private members bills were both exceedingly lightweight or perhaps just lazy, and aside from ability to smile and move her lips while saying nothing she demonstrates no particular aptitude for the job. A degree in communications hardly recommends her for leadership.

Don't forget that the Executive branch of any government includes all of the departmental resources. Leadership provides the vision and direction, and implementation is executed by the public service. For example, the Parliamentary Counsel Office does much of the legwork in drafting Bills;

http://www.pco.govt.nz/bim2014#a2.3

The important quality in a leader under this MMP system of governance is that of being able to get your legislative agenda through Parliament.

@AK79 100% correct ........and everything is ''unacceptable " or " not acceptable " when Jacinda speaks ..... she is starting to sound like the Greens who were opposed to everything .

Labour are basically riding on the euphoria of people who seem to believe that Government simply prints money , and are about to be disappointed when they dont get a free home, free money for heating , free family packages bigger than a food parcel at a Tombola, free tertiary education, almost free Doctors visits , free this , free that and free the next thing

Where on earth is the money going to come from ?

"Where on earth is the money going to come from" is not Labour's problem. They are in charge of spending them.

Indeed, master spenders :)

"Where on earth is the money going to come from ?"

The same place Shonkey got it. America.

Bill English has never had a real job, and had a historical low vote last time - 21%.

Most of his claim to fame is basking in John Keys popularity - remember John and his Flag referendum? - I think it is clear the voters have said they don't want Bill running the country. Why does he get another chance? Is there really no one else in the National party who can take over the top job?

What is worse than reserving the right to govern how they see fit, is saying they will not raise GST, then raising it. Campaigning on a housing crisis, then denying there is any issue.

I think I said this before: someone criticising Labour doesn't mean support for National. So not sure how your criticism of the PM is relevant to Ms. Arden not being competent to run the country.

Realistically there is only going to be one Prime Minister, Bill English or Jacinda Adern.

If others are going to parrot on why Jacinda is not worthy, then I am free to balance things up by parroting on why Bill is not worthy.

English lacks charisma, but desire for charisma in leaders is an antiquated holdover from a violent tribal past. He has however demonstrated a lot of capability in managing this countries finances through the slings and arrows of the GFC and the earthquakes and having inherited a large structural deficit from the outgoing Clark govt. NZ's economy has outperformed the OECD markedly over the last 9 years. Better than an an entirely untested tax-and-spend Labour with amateurishly/wrongly costed tax policies that will inevitably kill growth and industrial relations law changes (paying off union masters) that will destroy productivity and international competitiveness. They have no demonstrated competency to do the job required.

On the contrary, he's by virtue of doing little simply allowed NZ to become an economy dependent on immigration (according to him), money laundering and inflated debt while possessing declining productivity. Amateurish indeed. Bill has not demonstrated competency, and his new finance minister has likewise not demonstrated competency in his analyses over the last few days. Quite the contrary.

This is what we've gotten to:
https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/96523625/pm-bill-english-says-...

Again not sure your point. Is it that you think Ms. Arden and Mr. English are equally incompetent?

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Bill English is a career politician who has shown a willingness to lie to the public, has taken National to its worst ever poll result, and has built an economy on debt and record immigration. And now has an uncosted on-the-hoof policy target on bringing 100,000 children out of poverty. Why would you think this makes him qualified to keep running the country?

What has the competency of the PM got to do with Ms. Arden's competency?

As in, if you're going to pick a standard, pick one and stick with it.

Still not sure the point of mentioning Mr. English when discussing Ms. Arden's competency. But what you seem to be saying is that both Mr. English and Ms. Arden are equally incompetent - perhaps I agree.

I think what Labour is trying to tell me is that they are going to be exactly like National, but different.

They truly have learned nothing.

What should they be doing?

They could go and learn from the results of the last two tax inquires that Mr Morgan contributed to and save us all the expense of another one.

I know that is not how things work in politician land, but hope springs eternal.

I guess last time they said they wanted a CGT and lost the election after a lot of fear mongering and mis-information being spread by National. So they are now instead looking for the electorate to trust them to do the right thing, whatever that might be, and they will work out the details later. Thus limiting Nationals preferred method of attack.

Nobody ever voted for a raise of GST, but look where we are.

".. lost the election after a lot of fear mongering and mis-information "

Or it could be the voting public, in general, are not a fan of more taxation.

exactly, and you thought that that wasn't a difficult thing to understand eh?

Would the public be OK with land tax and a CGT making the income tax lower for a revenue neutral outcome? I would expect so, but the fear mongering and mis-information that National and their followers spread (just look through this thread) mean that the grown up discussion simply cannot be had.

The problem is Labour is not pitching the policy you describe.

They are pitching *some* detail, some broad strokes and a promise of another tax inquiry.

Whilst I understand this as an election strategy it does open them up to fair criticism they have not disclosed enough detail to make an fully informed decision.

If your trust Labour then this is not a problem for you, if you don't trust Labour then not good enough.

Either way they are asking for an act of faith.

But hey, the strategy could win an election.

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Speculators and people with vested interest in high places, media are going to create the fear of Tax as that is the only tool, they have against Labour.

Vast majority is in favor of curbing speculators and foreign buyers.

Every reasonable and hard working citizen should, on principle alone, have some pretty serious concerns about anyone who proclaims tax as the magically tool for solve problems.

The drive for fair taxation is one big reason why America is not a British colony today.

"Vast majority is in favor of curbing speculators and foreign buyers."
In that case Labour would benefit vastly in the polls from announcing what exactly their tax policy is going to be ; for some reason they choose not to . I wonder why ?

Something about property speculation being enshrined in the kiwi culture. I was rather shocked when finding out a couple decades ago about how so many kiwis were shoveling their assets into "landbanking". That works, until it doesn't. NZ land is now similar to the NZ sharemarket in the late '80s IMO...

I tend to agree .. It is not the point in the context of the discussion though - any decision to significantly change tax settings should be put in front of the voters as part of the election manifesto,.
Personally I am not against a CGT in all forms - but I do have concerns about the details .

Indeed, Because Logic suggests that they have something bigger to hide !! - like they know that they have NOT put anything aside for a rainy day ...!!

CGT might make the tax system fairer - especially if it includes sales on major assets like businesses - but it won't do a thing to lower house prices. Houses are a necessity, like food, and while there's more households being formed than houses built making them more expensive through tax won't make them cheaper. By that logic they should increase GST on food as that would make food cheaper and increase the tax take.

The 2000's Labour Govt was a bad for us in the construction industry with red tape and expanding bureaucracy preventing development. It was so obvious there was a housing shortage coming I purchased rental property which has more than doubled. I suppose another Labour Govt would mean rental property becomes a good investment again.

I thought it was Maurice Williamson's reforms that had most of the impact of increasing compliance costs associated with the construction sector?

e.g., https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/earthquake-prone-buildings-policy-an...

and this http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/120/branz-say-industry-responsibl...

In my experience the biggest cost component in housing supply has been RMA/planning. The 2000's were a bad time if you wanted to get a consent for anything. The construction industry sized to suit those and now with AUP bringing much more planning opportunity it's too small to meet demand and construction prices have gone through roof.

You don't think importing 1.5% of your population with immigration every year has anything to do with a housing shortage?

Anyway there is no housing crisis, Bill said so.

If rental prices were increasing at anything close to the house price increase, then I would believe that there is a serious housing shortage crisis. This has clearly not been the case, in Auckland, or elsewhere. There may be a future housing shortage in Auckland, which will evidence via rental price increases matching equity increases.

Maybe we have instead hit the limit of what people can pay? And investors are not worrying about rents when capital gain is the actual business model?

The population of Auckland is increasing an awful lot faster than houses are being built. So something is going on. Maybe people are just cramming more and more people into their houses? Do we hold data on household size? What 'real' statistics can tell us if there is a shortage or not?

Perhaps, the right attitude toward this year's election would be

"Oh, Fk it. Give Labour a chance. Already rock bottom for NZ. what worse can it be?"

Be careful what you wish for, things can always get a lot worse

Except that things aren't at rock bottom. Things are pretty good with NZ ranking highly internationally by many measures.

The list of things that Jacinda will tax is getting longer and longer by the day.
You cannot tax a nation into prosperity, just the opposite.
I challenge everyone to name one item that has gone down in price by putting a tax on it.
If a tax of any kind is placed on land, capital, businesses, farms, water, income or wages it can only come out as higher prices.
Jacinda is making a noose for her neck and the Labour party by announcing a new tax on almost a daily basis and her smile ( which looks like a piano with the lid up) is wearing thin, very very thin.

You know this article is about what she has said she will not tax right?

I challenge everyone to name one item that has gone down in price by putting a tax on it.

Tobacco/cigarette manufacturers reduced the price of their products in response to the National governments tax hikes on those products.

I suspect you might need to cherry pick your time frame very closely for that to be true for very long Kate .. ;)

https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0146.pdf

Philip Morris: - "When the tax goes up, industry loses volume and profits as many smokers cut back."

Yes, I think they did most of their price cut in the early year(s) of those increases. The increases have been of such a magnitude however that any reduction in the base cost of the product has little affect on the overall cost paid at POS.

Actually, increased revenue from the increased tobacco taxes made up the lions share of many of the better than forecast tax takes over the past 9 years.

I quote. "The list of things that Jacinda will tax is getting longer and longer by the day.
You cannot tax a nation into prosperity, just the opposite."
Rubbish. Is that the best you National supporters can come up with? It makes you look very stupid.

LOL... Lets put tax to zero and see how fast things go all Mad Max....

So...you didn't read the article but are simply repeating a talking point from Stephen Joyce's Ministry of Propaganda?

well put Bigdaddy ... and the proof is that everywhere a CGT was introduced prices have gone UP not down ... We cannot allow Labour or some silly economists to experiment with our money and assets ....

By your argument, as one of the few countries without a capital gains tax, shouldn't we have some of the cheapest houses in the world?

Conversely Australia *do* have a CGT and yet their affordability is worse than Auckland in Melbourne and Sydney.

Clearly it is not that simple.

What I dont get is how Labour proposes to make a Doctors visit cost less than the bus-fare from the North Shore to the City .

Quite apart from how Government is going to pay the $32 top up for each consultation , or how much it will cost the Treasury , one is left wondering if they have thought or the likely outcomes of such a policy

At $8 for a consult people will overwhelm the doctors with every sneeze and cough

All this spending!!!

Wouldn't it be a disgrace if that $32 saved $320++ in hospital costs down the line! Appalling!!

@Zombie , I have a relative who is a solo mum with a community services card , she already gets to see the Doctor almost for free , .................... I dont need this , nor do my wife or my three kids and their partners, we earn enough to see the quack if we need to

I dont understand why Labour have promised this .

To encourage a preventative medicine type approach as opposed to the present unfortunate situation where many acute respiratory illnesses, rheumatic fever, contagious diseases, etc. are largely being treated in our emergency rooms.

Then Why not expand the Community service card to a wider more needy slice of society and make it free for say 40% of NZers instead of all ?? .. we all know who this policy is aimed for and that is fine ... they just like spending large without thinking it through !!
Or is that too much work for them ?

To buy votes, with no thought to the side effects of such a policy.
At a local after hours clinic the place is clogged up with the consequences of the free under 13 policy:i.e. the worried well Asian's waiting for hours for trivial illnesses, because it is free. I know 2 docs who will give up that work if the age is raised to 18. It is impossible to manufacture Docs to do after hours stuff, particularly if involves 95% trivia, albeit with all that workload.Even if your name is Jacinda.

The working / poor trade the financial cost for a time cost in fully subsidized health clinics.
Unable to make appointments a wait for a 15min consultation can readily range through to four hours and beyond.
This is the systems way of unsuring people aren't keen to rock up to the doctor with every sniffle.

A land tax IS a good thing to curb house values.
Ardern wants to exempt the home because it would cost Labour a lot of votes if homes were taxed.
But the truth is a land tax (and also CGT) is only efficient if it is applied to ALL houses.
If you have exemptions, you get loopholes and expensive, inefficient monitoring of the rules

So it is a step in the right direction then?

in what country has a land tax had a big impact on house values?

yes, but only if there are no exemptions - as the administration costs and avoidance and other distortions it causes eat up too much of the benefits it might bring.

Exactly, Foyle

Seeing that Labour is confused regarding whats going to be taxed and whats not,it might be easier for them to tax everything and then her policy could be ''we are going to remove tax on......'''
It will be easier to understand than the current yes,no maybe.

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What's going to be taxed is speculation - that's the direct target of their housing policy;

See it here in the big bold headline: Crack down on speculators

http://www.labour.org.nz/housing

It's just the speculators that are trying to imply that they have some other grand plan. They don't.

Speculators are the target.

A "bold headline" does not cut it . We need to see specific , detailed policy . Labour either lack it or would not tell us what it is .

Tell us about National's specific, detailed policies and how they have more detail.

How have they costed their policy of lifting 100,000 children out of poverty?

One suspects a double-standard applied, based entirely on Minister of Propaganda Stephen Joyce's lack of economic aptitude.

So basically you have no answer ( just as Labour have no policy .. ) and just revert to squealing about the other side . You have form ..

So basically you have no consistent standard that you are willing to apply to both parties, but are simply parroting National talking points.

If Labour have no policy, it's a bit silly to ask for the details of a non-existent policy or engage in fearmongering of a non-existent policy, isn't it?

And not requiring the detail from both sides is simply a double-standard.

It is not entirely unreasonable to ask for more details about the tax Labour want me to vote for.

And pointing at someone else's deficiency is really just an acknowledgement of your own deficiency. National is somewhat of a known value, but Labour are supposed to be the new hope, so it really is upon them to explain the details of what new means.

Absence of detail in this context is not hugely encouraging, and a government inquiry is a Sir Humphrey moment that also doesn't inspire confidence in "newness".

Jacinda-mania aside, I think it is reasonable to ask Labour to show how they are not just National in drag.

I am merely pointing out the double-standard.

Let's be realistic - much of this is a moot point. Property speculators are never going to vote for Labour in any case. There is no way on Cluthlu's green earth that the dyed-in-the-wool older investor-voter bloc are ever going to vote Labour. The bulk of their comments appear to be Nats talking points aimed at fearmongering.

National is a known quantify in that they will do nothing to address the housing crisis and will continue to deny the very existence of the housing crisis. Therefore, any mum and dad who want their kids to be able to stand on their own without requiring their equity to do so would be better off voting for parties who are at least willing to acknowledge the existence of the crisis and show openness to avenues to address it - especially when Labour have committed to not applying a CGT tax (if ever adopted) to their family home.

I fear Rick, that were we all to stop and call-out every time the other had a double standard, we'd never finish the journey to the fish-and-chip shop.

Not so

All you need to do is decide if you believe National have squeezed the life out of NZ by inertia over Housing and immigration and underfunded so much in Transport, Health and Education and it needs to be fixed

If you can arrive at that decision you don't need to know any more

Whilst driving blind is one *possible* choice - that doesn't mean it must be *my* choice.

Or that asking for information is in any way wrong or unreasonable.

You need to see specific detailed policy - not "we".

You make my point for me - you are prepared to endorse anything that comes or might come from Labour simply on the basis that it comes from Labour.

No, didn't vote for them last time around. I'm your classic swing voter.

I think you are a classic Left voter . ..

I did not vote National last time either ; not that happy with their performance in government and would seriously consider Labour this time round - if they ditched the MoU and were up front with their tax plans . Excluding family home is a step in the right direction as afar as I am concerned - but still leaves too much room for doubt. Pity the cannot get their act together and state what their intentions are.

So by the time you strip out the bits of Labour you dont like, which leaves Labour unable to do much really you end up with National. ie t he only difference is National dont want to fix the issues we have and being crippled Labour cannot, same same really.

Not necessarily . It is conceivable that they could come up with a form of CGT ( which is not Nats policy ) I could vote for - but they would not tell me what their plan is so I cannot vote for them ,

Who are the SPECULATORS Kate ?... please identify them for us ... how many are there, and what is their BUYING power today ?????

That's just it, no one wants to collect the data for years now so we could see who the speculators are and set a policy to curb it.

I thought we were getting over this talk about tax?

I sense that the fear is strong amongst those that comment on this website. I for one care not what is taxed and by how much. watching the hysteria about it is fascinating though.

yes ....slowly dawning on the ppty speculators that the deflating market is also going to get the bash from a new govt that will care about the 99%, not just farmers and landlords. Rant as much as you like, but it won't stop it happening.

I am signing out

Don't take it personally Boatman.

In all probability Labour will win, tax will go up and the difficult problems won't magically disappear. Life will go on. If we don't have a housing problem two years from now it will be because of externalities.

Always the voice of Reason, Ralph. Bravo: you're in a minority amongst this wash of emotion. I can fully understand Boatman's casting-off.

Because the sad truth is that the choice is as between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, there is no 'paradigm shift' , and yet the sun will rise on time the day after Election Day.

Very kind.

I'm still hoping for that 'paradigm shift' with this change of guard, if that is what we get;

https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/ardern-v-english-is-this-the-time-of-tr...

Again, Who are the SPECULATORS Kate ?... please identify them for us ... how many are there, and what is their BUYING power today ?????

Until such time as we have a regulatory environment that discourages such speculation, we really won't know exactly what their impact on the market has been.

Then we cannot go on taxing everyone by chasing Ghosts, can we?? or dropping the value of Auckland houses by 50% ?? Do we?

Yes we know there are some ... but how many and really there and how effective are they to weave policies around them and singing out demonising rhetorics to fool the voters ??

Would that be fair? .. crying Blue "Speculators" when we dont know how effective they were/are ??

They are only taxing the profits remember. If house prices drop, no one will be paying CGT.

But it will only be on the unrealised profit (unless the asset was sold within the tax period) and therefore must be on an accrual basis. In which case there will be tax credits when they value goes down.

The only way AKL house prices might drop by 50% would be because the ghosts aren't ghosts at all - but real, living, breathing, in-the-flesh speculators.

FWIW, I'm guessing the "speculative factor" (meaning both the onshore and offshore tax free capital gains investors) is worth about 30% of the more recent AKL house price inflation. Meaning the $1M property will be worth $700K in 5 years time, provided the policy measures proposed by Labour have the intended effect and provided we don't allow the bubble to re-inflate.

With respect Kate .. That is purely guesswork !! .. I suspect that you live in Auckland and have little knowledge about what happened in the last 4 years here !!

Most housing investors that have bought in the last 5 to 10 years. At current prices its hardly a good investment in terms of yield.

Agreed. Lower house prices would be good for everyone except those interested in the tax free capital gains.

Tell it to the homeowners that would end up with negative equity and whose loans are called in by the banks.

As long as they are on term mortgage contracts and as long as they keep up with the mortgage repayments, they'll be fine. The asset holders who are on interest-only contracts are the ones who the bank is likely to be in touch with should they go into negative equity.

Wrong again Kate, it is the other way around - interest only payment pay much less in servicing their loans and most have fixed terms and more than 40% in equity .... !!

perhaps those supposedly imaginary people who have been forced out of the property market, because of the brightline test on residential property that the National Party have been claiming for years was't necessary and begrudgingly enacted after the public outcry about the Housing Crisis in Auckland became impossible to ignore.

A tax that even accountants call a capital gains tax in disguise.

Odds look good for a Labour win. However there are significant tax gains Labour can make that will not effect the majority of voters, the Q is will they really actually take worthwhile action or just can kick as tehya ll have dne so far.

"2 years" it will take way more than 2 years to solve the problem we have now, assuming it really is genuine demand, more like 5 or 6.

Advance voting opens on Monday.

At least we know what her and her partner think of old people. They're old Dino's apparently. No wonder she's gunning for CGT to stick it to the "old Dino's".
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/96588240/jacinda-arderns-partn...

I don't think it's fair to bundle Taxinda in with her partner, but it does raise an interesting point. Is Kelvin Davis at 50 the 'Grey Beard' to make the line up acceptable to the Labour voting dinosaurs?

50 is hardly the new 69;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Prebble

And Richard Prebble was a mere 36 years of age (younger than both Jacinda and Kelvin) when he came into power under David Lange (who was then only 42).

Seriously, the "old dinos" who had their hands on the levers of power at Jacinda's age do really need to move over and stop criticising the younger generation for being younger.

More power to Jacinda's partner - and to everyone else in their age cohort.

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