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Rent Control? Stamp Duties? New Zealand Is Better Than This

Responding to confirmation that the Housing Minister has sought advice from officials on rent control, New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says:

“Grant Robertson’s broken promises on residential taxes have led the Government down a dangerous path. Higher taxes on landlords were always going to lead to rent hikes, but rent control is not the answer.”

“Rent control is a discredited policy that will see a litany of costly unintended consequences. Renters will desperately cling to rent-controlled tenancies, reducing liquidity in the market and locking others out. Meanwhile landlords will make up revenue shortfalls by neglecting basic maintenance.”

Today the Taxpayers’ Union released a podcast interview with Infometrics economist Brad Olsen, delving into the unintended consequences of rent control. Meanwhile, the New Zealand Initiative has released a roundup of the failings of rent control in San Francisco, Massachusetts, and Stockholm.

“Even by just floating the idea of rent control, Megan Woods is guilty of economic vandalism. That’s because landlords will hike rents now to pre-empt the threat of having their rents fixed in the future. This type of panicked regulation-floating and uncertainty is the mark of a banana republic.”

“Meanwhile, Treasury is reportedly mulling over the idea of a stamp duty. This beggars belief, considering Grant Robertson’s definitive promise not to introduce new taxes, and his subsequent promise that he wouldn’t break that promise again.”

“Stamp duties will stop homeowners from selling their properties to families who need them more. For example, we’ll see the housing crisis worsened by boomers refusing to downsize so as to avoid the stamp duty.”

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