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Greens call for 'Developer Tax' to fund 4,000 public homes in first Malinauskas State Budget

27 May 2022

The Malinauskas State Government should build ten times more public homes that those pledged at the last election to tackle the state’s growing housing crisis, say the Greens.

The Government could fund the housing build by introducing a Developer Tax on the increases in land value due to rezoning, in next week’s State Budget. According to Greens’ modelling, the tax would raise up to $1.7 billion over four years – enough to build 4,000 public homes.

“While any boost to public housing is welcome, Labor’s pledge to build just 400 new public homes is simply inadequate. SA is in the midst of a full-blown housing crisis – this requires a major investment,” said the Greens Housing Spokesperson, Robert Simms MLC.

“The new Government has an opportunity to significantly increase its investment in public housing by finally ensuring developers pay their fair share of tax. A tax like this has worked for years in the ACT – it could be introduced here in South Australia. It’s morally wrong that we have desperate people sleeping on the street this winter, while big developers continue to make huge profits.”

Adelaide is the second least affordable city in Australia when it comes to rental affordability while there are currently 30,000 people waiting for social housing in the state.

According to the Beyond the Housing Crisis – A Home for All report from UniSA and Believe Housing Australia, vacancy rates have now hit 0.2% and survey data shows that South Australians believe the Government is not doing enough.

How would a Developer Tax work?

When land is rezoned for a higher use, property developers make massive, windfall profits, but they don’t pay anything for the privilege.

The Greens are calling for a 75% Developer Tax on increases in land value due to rezoning. Estimates from Murray and Frijters in 2014 show that South Australia would earn $389million per year. In 2022 dollars this would be $438 million. That’s an extra $1.7 billion over four years that we can use to increase our housing stock.


DEVELOPER TAX ($MILLION) 2022/23 2023/24 2024/25 2025/26 TOTAL
  $438.2 $444.8 $451.5 458.2 $1,792.7


PUBLIC HOUSEING ($MILLION) 2022/23 2023/24 2024/25 2025/26 TOTAL
Construction Cost $398 $408 $418 $429 $1,655
Maintenance Cost $4 $4 $4 $4 $16
Rental Revenue $2.2 $4.5 $7 $9.6 $23.3
Total Cost $399 $407.5 $415 $423.4 $1,644