A tax credit to encourage staff hire and a stamp duty discount for home buyers are features of a $1.5 billion Victorian government package.
Some $836 million in the 2020/21 state budget, handed down by Treasurer Tim Pallas on Tuesday, will go towards tax relief for small and medium-sized businesses that rehire staff, restore hours or create new jobs.
Under the New Jobs Tax Credit, a business will get a credit of 10 cents for every dollar they increase taxable Victorian wages.
The more businesses rehire staff and employ new workers, the less payroll tax they’ll have to pay.
The measure will last for two years and the government expects it will support 9400 people to return to work.
The government has already announced more than $3.5 billion in tax and fee relief since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, including payroll tax deferrals for small and medium businesses until next financial year.
Building on this, the government will also increase the threshold for annual payroll tax from 2021/22, benefiting up to 7000 additional businesses.
Meanwhile, to stimulate the property market, the government will waive up to 50 per cent of stamp duty on newly built or off-the-plan homes valued at up to $1 million until June 30 next year.
Existing homes will be eligible for a 25 per cent waiver.
The discounts will cost the budget $293 million.
A $500 million Victorian Homebuyer Fund will also be launched to help people who do not have a 20 per cent deposit to buy a home.
The fund will contribute to the purchase price in exchange for equity in the property.
A 50 per cent stamp duty concession on the purchase of commercial and industrial properties will be brought forward to January 2021, in an effort to encourage more businesses to open, relocate or expand in Victoria.
Land tax discounts of up to 50 per cent will also be on offer for build-to-rent developments until 2040, with the government hoping it will boost the state’s housing supply by about 5000 homes and apartments.
Some money will return to the coffers though, through a new distance-based levy for drivers of zero and low-emission light vehicles, to offset losses in fuel excise.
Electric cars will pay 2.5 cents per kilometre, while drivers of low-emission cars will be charged two.
It will cost the average driver between $260 and $300 each year.
More than $45 million is set aside in the budget to accelerate the adoption of the vehicles.