Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Rule change a step in the right direction

Victorian Young Farmers has welcomed the Victorian Government’s decision to double the threshold for stamp duty concessions for young farmers.

LAURA GRIFFIN December 4, 2012 4:10am

Ellen Grinter

Deputy secretary Ellen Grinter said changing the property price threshold from up to $300000 to up to $600000 would not only benefit farmers under the age of 35, but also Victoria’s agricultural industry as a whole.

‘‘The cost of buying a farm is daunting for young farmers and any move to make it easier for them is backed by the Young Farmers,’’ Miss Grinter said.

‘‘It will speed up the process of young farmers getting started. They bring new ideas and passion to the industry.’’

The Nathalia Young Farmers Club member said under the original scheme the exemption phased down to zero once the farm was worth more than $400000, which was excluding a lot of people from the concession.

‘‘Land values are going up, so the cost of farms is often higher,’’ she said.

The changes, to be legislated next year, will broaden eligibility from $300000 to $600000, with a phase out at $750000, while capping the maximum individual concession at $13070.

Miss Grinter said the change was a step in the right direction and would help young farmers with start-up costs.

‘‘Young farmers struggle getting all the money together for a deposit and then the stamp duty is a kick in the teeth. There are a lot of other up-front costs, including machinery and the season’s inputs.’’

Victorian treasurer Kim Wells said the change followed a review of the four-year program which began on July 1 last year.

‘‘The Coalition Government set aside $12million for stamp duty concessions to help remove potential barriers to young people who want to take up farming,’’ Mr Wells said.

He said the take-up of stamp duty concessions had not been as strong as first forecast due to weakness in the national economy and uncertainty created by the global financial crisis.

The review found that pre-existing provisions in stamp duty legislation meant that the scheme currently favoured large, multiple title and multiple farmer transactions.

It confirmed that the threshold was not a barrier to people receiving the concession, but had reduced its value to some young farmers.

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