In December 2022 flood waters poured into South Australia from the eastern states. After months of waiting and preparation the Riverland population area saw their worst fears realised as the waves of rain and water kept coming; spreading gradually South –and as the earth was still saturated and had no where to go… the water continued its slow but devastating path throughout the Murray-Darling basin. These floods were only surpassed by the floods of 1956 and 1931

Estimates are about 4000 properties across the length of the river were damaged;

Under the new tax relief measures, homeowners whose principal places of residence are substantially damaged or destroyed will be eligible for Stamp Duty relief of up to $48,830 on the purchase of a new home/land up to the value of $1,000,000

If you own a home which is your principal place of residence and that home was destroyed/substantially damaged due to the River Murray Floods in the specified flood area, relief from stamp duty on the purchase of a replacement home which is to be your principal place of residence is available.

Stamp duty relief is also available on the transfer of vacant land on which a replacement home will be built within 3 years from the date of purchase and become your principal place of residence.

What is a principal place of residence?

A principal place of residence is where the property (home):

  • is the primary residence of the owner(s);
  • is the owner(s) usual residence (that is, where they perform their normal living activities such as eating and sleeping); and
  • is occupied on an ongoing basis (that is, occupation is not merely transitory or an intention to occupy).

What is the specified flood area?

Alexandrina Council                                        Mid Murray

Berri Barmera Council                                   Murray Bridge Council

Coorong District Council                            Pastoral and Unincorporated Council

Renmark Paringa Council                           Loxton and Waikerie Council

District Council of Karoonda East Murray

The State Government will also waive 2022-23 Land Tax liabilities for business properties and long-term residential rentals that are substantially damaged or destroyed.

Holiday rental properties will be eligible for Land Tax relief where an owner can demonstrate a loss of bookings/income due to the property being substantially damaged or destroyed due to the flood. However, full-time private holiday homes will not be eligible.

Refunds will be provided where 2022-23 Land Tax liabilities have already been paid.

Questions that you may have…

Does it matter when the home was destroyed or substantially damaged?

Yes – it must have been due to the River Murray Floods between 15 November 2022 up to 9th February 2023

When does the relief end?

It is available up to and including 1st March 2025 – this means that your settlement must occur on or BEFORE 1 March 2025

Is there a cap on the relief?

Yes, it is capped at the stamp duty payable on a $1 million home or land – (this means relief is available up to $48,830 (relief is also provided for the Land Services SA registration fees applicable to the Transfer?

There is some good news though, in the months after the flood the plains re-emerged from the water, ground that was bare for decades is now covered in greenery, while bird species from around the world continue to flock to the region and the state government has provided incentives and vouchers to visit the area and tourism again becomes a big part of the region.

If you think you may be eligible to receive the Stamp Duty relief for flood-struck Murray River residents please contact your local Conveyancer to discuss your property transaction