The State Revenue Legislation Amendment Act 2016 received assent on 11 May 2016 and commences on that day unless otherwise indicated. Of interest to property owners are the amendments to the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) Act 2000 and the Land Tax Management Act 1956.
The first home owner grant scheme is available to first home buyers who purchase or build a new home, which includes a substantially renovated home and a home built to replace demolished premises. The definition of a “substantially renovated home” now requires that the home must be created through renovations in which all, or substantially all, of a building is removed or replaced (whether or not the renovations involve the removal or replacement of foundations, external walls, interior supporting walls, floors or staircases). The definition of a home built to replace demolished premises now requires that the home must be built on the same land as the demolished premises.
Amendment to the Land Tax Management Act 1956 provide that unoccupied land may be exempt under the principal place of residence (PPR) exemption if the owner intends to use and occupy the land as his or her PPR at the completion of proposed building works. Before the amendments, if the land was used and occupied by a person other than the owner after its acquisition, the exemption applied for up to 4 tax years following the year in which building works physically commenced on the land. The amendments simplify this exemption by allowing a period of up to 4 years following the year in which a person, other than the owner, ceases to use and occupy the land for residential purposes.
The owner will be entitled to claim the unoccupied land as his or her PPR if the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue is satisfied that significant steps enabling work to physically commence are taken by the end of the first of the 4 tax years concerned.
You can read about the amendments here.