21 Sep 2023 By theguardian
The New South Wales government is considering following Victoria's lead by imposing a tax on short-stay accommodation, including Airbnb, to help fund affordable housing.
The NSW premier, Chris Minns, and senior ministers said they were open to imposing a levy to boost revenue and encourage owners to put their properties back on the long-term market amid the ongoing housing crisis.
The treasurer, Daniel Mookhey, has ordered Treasury to study Victoria's 7.5% tax and examine the impact of similar measures overseas.
"We are looking at what Victoria has proposed," he said on Thursday.
"What is happening in Victoria is similar to what's happening in NSW, which is similar to what's happening in places like California, Spain, London as well. We are seeing long-term rentals being pulled from the market and short-term rentals taking their place."
Mookhey said short-term rentals were part of why "rental stock in NSW is disappearing".
The treasurer handed down NSW Labor's first budget in more than a decade on Tuesday and was widely criticised for failing to tackle the housing crisis. He later said there was "more to come".
The state government has been considering caps on short-term rentals, including Airbnb and Stayz properties, as well as a separate 60-day limit for homes in the Byron Bay region following advice from the Independent Planning Commission.
There were 45,209 short-term rentals registered in NSW in May - an increase of 13,000 since December 2021.
The Victorian levy, announced by the premier, Daniel Andrews, on Wednesday, was expected to raise about $70m annually to fund social and affordable housing.
Andrews described it as a "modest" measure and refused to compare it with other fees charged internationally.
On Thursday, Minns said he would not be immediately announcing a similar tax but the government was reviewing short-term leasing rules and was open to making "common sense" changes.
"Short-term leasing, and its effect on the community [and] renters in NSW, has been pretty extreme, particularly for regional communities on the coast in high-frequency holiday areas," he said.
The NSW housing minister, Rose Jackson, said the tax would be considered as part of a short-term rental review slated for later in the year.
"We have been clear all options are on the table when it comes to confronting the housing crisis." Airbnb was contacted for comment.
Are you looking for a holiday? Get special deals.