Ahead of the annual Building Better Cities Summit, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) underlined the need for tax reforms in the housing sector.

With this year’s theme for the summit based on reforming the tax system, HIA spokesman Greg Weller said that tax reform was the biggest economic issue on the national agenda. He noted that a realignment of the taxation and transfer system appeared inevitable, given the underlying structural budget deficit and a growing demand for government services, particularly in the health and education areas.

He believes action needs to be taken now on the current unfair taxation burden placed on new housing, which not only reduces housing affordability but also limits growth in the wider economy.

The sixth edition of HIA’s Building Better Cities Summit titled ‘Taxing the Australian Dream: Can we get the tax off housing?’ will explore solutions to reverse the tax impost on new housing, which are fairer for home buyers, employers and the community, yet deliver resources for governments to provide the infrastructure and services necessary for prosperous communities.

Local and international speakers at the summit include Prof Henry Ergas - Professor of Infrastructure Economics, University of Wollongong; Andrew Barr, MLA - Chief Minister, ACT; and Prof Gavin Wood - Emeritus Professor of Housing and Urban Studies at RMIT University.