we're facing an income crisis amongst older people, who are / increasingly will be on lower and fixed incomes. Your plan is going to drive people out of their homes by taxing them on ;notional value' of the rent they avoid. It's sadistic - this group have paid high level of income tax throughout their lives and carefully planned for their days in retirement. This idea from TOPS is punitive and excessive. You're driving the way forward to a time when people will avoid saving, or indeed acquiring any asset because you;re going to tax it. If a person has a car,caravan, motorhome, boat presumably you want to tax the asset?
How far will you take it ... if a retired builder has tools ... they could be rented out out, he's to pay your 'asset tax'?
This policy treats capital as if it is owned by the state and would simply lead to capital flight from nz and an immediate loss of investment in anything other than risk free income generating assets... Why would anyone invest their capital into a start-up or innovative business or even just an SME that pays not much more than wages to the owner and employees (like a large number of New Zealand employing businesses) if the capital base will be eroded by asset taxes whether they are profitable or not? Not to mention the total disregard of property rights that defining an imputed rental benefit of home ownership represents! Rental is defined as paying the owner of a asset for the benefit of using that asset. If you are going to tax an owner of an asset for an imputed rental benefit that is the equivalent of the state basically stripping the owner of the property!
Taxing assets simply as a means to prevent housing speculation is looking at the issue of house price increases from entirely the wrong perspective, diagnosing the cause incorrectly, and applying the opposite solution to what is needed. Further, it creates a number of dangerous situations for the individual and the economy.
1. Population trends drive real estate prices... more people + not enough houses where those people want to live = increasing house prices
- As we shift from an agricultural economy to a knowledge and technology economy, that means increasing numbers of people wanting to live in main urban centres and not out in the back blocks
- People who commute to work don't want to live too far from where their jobs are, so urban pressure intensifies toward the CBD / transport infrastructure and arterial roadways.
2. Property speculators DON'T drive up prices. They aren't buying houses and destroying them to decrease supply in the market... they are simply making a prediction and attempting to ride the wave caused by the formula in #1 above.
3. Decentralizing cities (adding new satellite CBDs, and creating entirely new cities from the ground up (not attached to existing cities) and allowing people and businesses to populate that new and more affordable space, is a far better means to create affordable, quality, modern housing supply and thereby moderate prices in established centres.
4. People who have no or very low income can end up being stripped of their home, savings, and other assets that they've worked hard to pay off and save, or inherited (for example, a child who is orphaned and inherits a family home and possibly some other assets or money by which the remainder of their care can be paid until they are self-sufficient), assets received as a beneficiary of a Trust, a farmer who’s had a bad year economically but has a very high value piece of farm land, retirees, etc.
5. Earners won’t have ANY incentive to save, because accumulating money or putting it into an asset such as a home is the fastest way to pay more tax.
6. The Economic Incentive of taxing owned assets rewards those who rent for life and never know the stability of owning a home, those who spend every dollar they earn, and those intentionally stay asset-poor and living hand-to-mouth. Those rewarded the most are the ones who combine all 3 of these. Essentially, you’d incentivize every New Zealander to live paycheque to paycheque.
7. Wealth will be exported OUT of NZ. Why would anyone keep their money or assets in a country where those assets are taxed simply for owning them? Assets and wealth will flee for overseas markets, where they will be hidden from the IRD in overseas trusts, holding companies, and any manner of means.
8. Investment into NZ will stop immediately. Why would anyone with wealth send it to a country that is going to grab a piece simply because you own it?
9. Clawbacks + Interest + Inflation if the “assumed value” turn out to be inaccurate. Example: You’ve bought and paid off your house in the course of 20 years, during which you’ve also paid $600,000 in “asset taxes” over those same 20 years on your property based on it being valued at an annualized average “guesstimate” of it being worth $750,000. At the start of the 21st year, you sell the house and for any of a hundred reasons, it only sells for $500,000 — 1/3 of the “average guesstimated value” over 20 years. Does the Government then have to give you back $200,000 (1/3 of the tax collected), PLUS 20 years of interest, PLUS an allowance for 20 years of inflation due to having been wrong on the value the whole time? What if your house valued at $500,000 sells for $750,000? Does the IRD then assess you as owing $200,000 + 20 years of interest + 20 years of inflation during which you were under-charged?
10. When you take a % of total earnings on an annual basis, you avoid all of those guesswork issues. You earned A, you pay B… you earned X, you pay Y. There’s no disputing how much A and X are… and there’s no retroactive adjustment to balance out reality against decades of inaccurate guesswork.
The logical approach is to only tax INCOME — the Government earns a portion ALONG WITH the people — and everyone remains far more solvent, and there’s an incentive to keep wealth in NZ, and to save, and to invest, and to own a home.
Implement a Capital Gains Tax like every other OECD country to keep NZ on par… but DO NOT tax accumulated wealth simply because it’s sitting there. Raiding and pillaging people’s belongings is generally frowned upon in 2017.
Scrap this Asset-Taxing policy and replace it with a CGT in order to lower PAYE tax rates. It still hits "those who can afford it most" (which includes me, to be honest -- I'm happy to pay a fair tax if it helps build a stronger country and healthier, safer, more equitable, socially supported, and stable communities).
I would have ZERO hesitation in casting both my Candidate and Party vote for TOP. This one single policy is really poisoning the entire well, though.
See the success of Hong Kong. Anyway we have capital gains tax for house traders and any other trader.
I like most of your policies, but this is a definite deal breaker on the wealth tax when it comes to property. Firstly the "20%" that can afford it is not true. You are hitting a lot of retirees with some wealth, but little to no income. They have paid high tax when they had much higher tax rate decades ago. and now they are getting a second blow as more tax is transferred to wealth instead of income. They will have to sell their assets, maybe even their house to afford the tax. The UBI sounds great, but will not make up for this issue.
I believe CGT is not perfect but is the better alternative (until someone else gets a better idea). With the housing market, will be better to have tax on investment properties for capital gain. Also if government builds more houses to and stops overseas buyers, at least more nzers can buy more houses.
Not that I agree with the wealth tax but have you considered at least a progressive rate as with income, so those with a bit of wealth, but no income don't suffer?
DON'T tax the family home - the money to pay that off has already had taxes paid on it! It's taken years and years of hard bloody slog to own our own home ... and it's the Kiwi way that if you do that hard hard slog then no one in government better touch it no matter how fair you think it might be. We are not rich. We have spent money replacing the roof, recladding to replace the old hardiplank, putting in new drainage, insulating, double glazing etc etc... so what looks like on paper that our house has made capital gain if we sold it is untrue as we have put huge amounts of money into caring for our home.
It's taken years and years of hard bloody slog to own our own home ... and it's the Kiwi way that if you do that hard hard slog then no one in government better touch it no matter how fair you think it might be. We are not rich. We have spent money replacing the roof, recladding to replace the old hardiplank, putting in new drainage, insulating, double glazing etc etc... so what looks like on paper that our house has made capital gain if we sold it is untrue as we have put huge amounts of money into caring for our home.
Firstly property is NOT a productive asset, it does not add any real wealth to the economy. It is simply the transfer of wealth from one person to another. Your 'Tax Reform' policy aimed at taxing the family home is frankly wrong - as people already get taxed (rates) by local & regional councils anyway. It would only hurt people already struggling to afford their homes.
Also your migration policy doesn't even mention the impact high-migration levels are having on housing demand, if you want to be taken seriously you'll need to stop parroting the liberal/left myth that 'we need lots of immigration to be successful' (no nation has ever decreased inequality due to high immigration - quite the contrary). TOP's migration policy therefore misses one of the most important factors in housing affordability, and is likely politically-designed that way to avoid potentially upsetting foreign investors and recent migrants. A small amount of immigration is reasonable, but your party doesn't actually offer any new viewpoints on this, it's just the same failed neo-liberal policies of the status quo.
If TOP is to succeed politically, it will have to do better than just being a re-branded version of National, United Future & ACT - as it's policies are pretty close to the government we have already.
Thi is not a fair policy because people would be taxed even if they have no or a low income. Once you have paid something off you should not be contiuously taxed on it. Also landlords will pass on the extra cost so people renting are paying even more.
To make the policy fairer it must exclude ones own family home.
More importantly introduce a capital gains tax like other OECD countries, that is by far the biggest tax loophole that benefits the rich at the expense of wage earners. To encourage local investment put extra tax on overseas invrstment
Saying it will benefit 80% has no base to it. It might benefit the poorest (or not if rents go up), but the only house owners who can take it are the ritcher ones.
You have so many good ideas but your taxing of 'the family home' is wrong and prevents me from voting for you. The majority of homeowners in NZ are people with their single family home. They worked very hard to get it, paid a lot of interest to banks (and as you pointed out yourself they are usually salary/wage earners so never dodged a cent of tax) and therefore they paid plenty of tax, a lot more than people renting. Now you want them to pay tax on all that again, for the rest of their lives. They are not the ones who over inflated house values and because they are the bulk of property owners in NZ it means your claims of 80% of people being better off is clearly incorrect. At the same time I have not found anything in your policy to stop a speculator buying a house and quickly flipping it at a huge profit (and near zero tax).
For smart guys how did you get this policy so wrong.
I can't support this tax reform of taxing property as TOP have not set out that any realisation of property capital gain and tax on that gain is not when the property sells yet treats a rising house value and more so land value as 'income' which is never realised until the house is sold. My rates increase when the value of my house increases, it happened recently and rates is a form of taxation, therefore the TOP tax reform appears to be flawed. TOP could spell out how rates (tax) not being a consideration makes taxing 'capital gains' fair. Don't ignore rates - the Local Government tax!
Like every well intentioned collection of fools, you want to help people. Good. That does not mean that the answer that seems the most compassionate is the right one, or the one which is in fact the fairest, or best for those who suffer long term.
Firstly, everyone's goal is to own their own home. Nobody enjoys renting, even though some may be okay with it in exchange for another commodity of their choosing. Taxing home owners will make it harder for them to pay off their mortgage, and isn't fair in the least. Would you tax someone on their car? Would you tax someone on their guitar? Of course not, it's their property, which they paid for, with their already taxed income. Simply having a commodity that others do not have, does not entitle those without to take something from those with.
Immigration is indeed an enormous issue, and stamping that down is a start. Another thing that stifles business, is tax in general. You are helping nobody with more tax. The solution to making things easier is not to tax some people way more, to make up for the rest. You are literally just demanding the redistribution of wealth through tax. The way forward, is to eliminate compulsory tax. It does not give people the freedom to choose what they endorse, and will therefore fund with their income, nor does is guarantee anyone a fair share of the utilisation of their tax money.
Forcibly taking anything for a supposedly moral purpose is not moral. The only way to morally improve conditions for people who need help, is through voluntary action. The culture has to change to be more generous, and the government stepping in to do the job for everybody without their consent as to how, is the wrong course.
Feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have no suggestions as its not my field and I am not asking people to vote for me. However, I bought my home with funds which have been taxed, I pay a mortgage with money that has been taxed, I feel I pay my share. However, I am in favour of a fairer society but will need to see more from your tax policy than generalisations and cheap shots at the residents of Paratai Drive before I would consider voting in favour. More detail, please. I do want to vote TOP but this policy just turns me off.
It is fair to say that the NZ tax system is messed up, but I do not think your current tax proposal is the right answer. If you tax home owners, the average owner will not be able to afford your proposed tax. If you tax properties owned by landlords, they will not be paying the tax. Sure it will come out of their bank account, but they will just increase rent to cover it. So the very people you are trying to help will suffer higher rent. Also stop talking about increasing wages. All that does is increase the cost of living. That doesn't help the country at all. Firstly the poorer among us drop further below the poverty line, and it also effects our biggest earner, tourism. Already people complain how expensive NZ is. If you want to make a big change you need to decrease the cost of living.
I theory I support the direction of your tax reform, but you would have to introduce is slowly. In my prime income years I paid up to 66% tax; now that I am retired you would reduce my super and tax me on my only asset I worked long and hard for - the house. This is a reason for me not to vote TOP, although I like most of the policies.
I will not support tax on a primary family residence, this is the one policy that will stop me voting for TOP, as I am near retirement, and such a policy would reduce our asset value to nothing, which we have worked hard for decades to own our own house, and will not have it taken away by such a tax policy. The other polices are all good, like the basic income for 18 to 23yr olds. This Tax policy needs to be modified to allow one residential home that is lived in by the owners, then I would be OK with this Tax policy.
All rental properties should meet certain standards of insulation, moisture management etc to be rented out. Doing this has two benefits, firstly the living quality of the stock of rental property will drastically increase for a lot of tenants, most likely decreasing health spending by some amount down the line due to healthier living environments. Secondly, the extra costs of being a landlord (paying for things like high standards of insulation in rental properties) will mean that the balance of people buying a second home shifts to make it slightly less worthwhile, opening the market up to more first-home buyers. A house will now be "cheaper" as an owner occupier situation than a rental situation.
I think policies to dissuade rental ownership will be more effective than "punishing" general house ownership, as the currently proposed tax reforms are suggesting. I also think the proposed reforms will create a new imbalance with taxes - wealthier people who are savvier with the tax system will make much more effective use of expense claims against the new imputed rent tax than first home buyers for example.
I believe it should be the aim of any government to have Universal Home Ownership. Taxing domiciles is not the way. Put CGT on second homes and investment properties. Phase out private ownership of rental properties (except holiday accommodation). Put all homes in the hands of the homeowner or the state. Nothing splits the populace more than the split between home-owners and renters.