In the ever-changing landscape of tax legislation, staying informed can seem like a monumental task. For property owners in Victoria, the 2023-24 state budget brings a significant shift that could impact your financial planning. The newly introduced “COVID Debt Levy” is an essential aspect of this year’s budget, and if you own multiple properties, you need to understand its implications.

The COVID Debt Levy: An Overview

The Victorian government, in its effort to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has introduced the “COVID Debt Levy.” This levy consists of two key components designed to raise funds over the next decade and is projected to generate $8.6 billion over the next four years, remaining in effect until 2033.

Increased Payroll Tax

The first part of this levy targets businesses with substantial national payrolls. Companies with a national payroll exceeding $10 million will incur an additional payroll tax of 0.5%. If the payroll exceeds $100 million, this additional tax increases to 1%. However, this measure is expected to affect only about 5% of businesses in Victoria.

Land Tax Adjustments: Lowered Threshold and Higher Rates

The second component of the levy is more likely to impact property owners. The threshold for land tax has been significantly reduced from $300,000 to $50,000. It’s important to note that this change does not apply to the family home. Instead, it focuses on additional properties you may own.

The annual charge for properties under this new threshold will be structured as follows:

  • Properties valued between $50,000 and $100,000 will incur a $500 charge
  • Properties valued between $100,000 and $300,000 will see a $975 charge
  • For properties valued above $300,000, the land tax rate will increase by $975 plus 0.1% of the land’s value

What This Means for Property Owners

If you own multiple properties, these changes could significantly impact your tax obligations. The lowered land tax threshold and increased tax rates mean that you may have to adjust your financial planning to accommodate these new charges. To better understand the potential impact, let’s consider three different scenarios.

Consider a family property investor who owns the home they live in and has made an investment in an apartment worth $650,000 with a land value of $299,000. The new land tax changes mean that the apartment, previously exempted due to the $300,000 threshold, will now be subject to an annual land tax of $975.00.

Under the new rules, the tax would be $975 plus 0.1% of the land’s value above $300,000. So, if the land value of the apartment increases in the next calendar year to say  $350,000, the additional tax will be $975 + 0.1% of ( $50,000) = $975 + $50 = $1,025. This is a significant new expense to factor into your annual budgeting.

The above scenario highlights how the new “COVID Debt Levy” could significantly affect property investors across Victoria. However, every situation is unique, and the new tax laws’ impact will vary depending on individual circumstances and property portfolios. Expert advice can help you understand and navigate these changes effectively.

The Double Whammy: New Taxes and Rising Interest Rates

For property investors, the new “COVID Debt Levy” is not the only financial pressure to consider. Rising interest rates are another key factor that could make owning investment properties increasingly challenging in the coming years.

When interest rates rise, the cost of borrowing increases. For property investors with mortgages on their investment properties, this means higher monthly repayments. If these rising costs are not offset by increases in rental income, investors could find themselves in a tight financial spot.

Seek Expert Advice

Victoria’s COVID Debt Levy is a key part of the state’s strategy for recovering from the economic effects of the pandemic. While the levy aims to generate substantial revenue over the next decade, it brings new considerations for property owners, especially those with multiple properties.

Now more than ever, expert guidance is crucial to navigate these changes and understand how they may impact your unique situation. Whether you’re a seasoned property owner or just starting your investment journey, our team at Tick Box Conveyancing is here to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to explore your options and devise a plan to best navigate these new tax changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is the COVID Debt Levy?

A: The COVID Debt Levy is a tax strategy introduced by the Victorian government in the 2023-24 state budget to repay the debt incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. The levy includes increased payroll taxes for big businesses and changes to land tax regulations for property owners.

Q2: Who will be affected by the COVID Debt Levy?

A: The COVID Debt Levy will primarily impact big businesses and property owners in Victoria. Businesses with a national payroll of over $10 million will pay additional payroll tax, while property owners will face a lowered land tax threshold and increased tax rates.

Q3: How is the COVID Debt Levy calculated for property owners?

A: The levy for property owners is calculated based on the value of the land owned. For land valued between $50,000 and $100,000, an annual charge of $500 applies. Land valued between $100,000 and $300,000 will incur a $975 charge. For land valued above $300,000, the tax rate will rise by $975 plus 0.1% of the land’s value.

Q4: How will the COVID Debt Levy affect my family home?

A: The family home is not subject to the COVID Debt Levy. The levy applies to additional properties you may own, not the primary residence.

Q5: How long will the COVID Debt Levy be in place?

A: The COVID Debt Levy is expected to remain in place until 2033 as part of the Victorian government’s 10-year fiscal repair plan.

Q6: How can I manage the impact of the COVID Debt Levy on my properties?

A: If you’re concerned about the impact of the COVID Debt Levy on your property investments, consider seeking advice from a property expert or financial advisor. They can provide personalised advice tailored to your circumstances and help you navigate the changes effectively.

Q7: What other financial pressures should I consider as a property owner?

A: Along with the COVID Debt Levy, rising interest rates could also impact your financial planning. Higher interest rates increase the cost of borrowing, leading to higher mortgage repayments. If you have mortgages on your investment properties, it’s crucial to factor these potential increases into your financial planning.

Remember, these are general answers and may not cover all possible scenarios. It is recommended to seek personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.


Please note that all information provided in this article is of a general nature. It has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation, or needs. As such, before acting on this information, we recommend that you consider its appropriateness having regard to your own objectives, financial situation, and needs.

While we strive to ensure that the information in this article is accurate and up to date, it may not apply to your circumstances, or there may have been recent changes to the law or the market that are not reflected in this article.

If you are unsure about any of the information in this article, or if you need more specific advice tailored to your circumstances, please contact Tick Box Conveyancing directly. Our team of expert conveyancers are here to guide you through the complexities of property law and help you make the best decisions for your situation.

Remember, professional advice is always the best course of action when dealing with significant financial matters like property investment.