Treasurer Nicole Manison handed down the Northern Territory Budget on 7 May 2019. This Budget maintains already announced revenue policies while introducing some minor changes to concessions for first home buyers.

The headline takeaways from the Budget are:

  • There is no mention of the abolition of business transfer duty.
  • The ‘vacant and derelict property levy’, which will operate similar to a land tax was originally announced in the 2018 Budget as a measure to revitalise the Darwin CBD, but has now been renamed the more sanguine ‘property activation levy’. The commencement date of 1 July 2019 and the rates of 1% of unimproved capital value for vacant buildings and 2% for vacant land remain the same. More on this once enabling legislation is tabled!
  • The main revenue-related measures relate to already announced home owner assistance schemes and some further measures:
    • From 8 February 2019 there has been a Build Bonus grant of up to $20,000 for the first 600 eligible applicants who purchase or build a new home in the Territory as well as the Territory home owner discount which provides a concession from stamp duty of up to $18,601 for buyers of new or established homes valued up to $650,000 who have not owned a home in the Northern Territory in the last 24 months (with some limited exceptions).
    • The first home owner grant is reduced from $26,000 to $10,000 from 7 May 2019.
    • The first home owner discount ceased on the 6 May 2019 and the principal place of residence rebate which ceased on 8 February 2019.
    • From 30 November 2020 all stamp duty home owner assistance schemes and the associated household goods grant and home renovation grant will cease, with only the first home owner grant remaining.