By Tristan Harris Wednesday 07 August 2013 Updated: 16/08 11:04
HOME-BUYERS in Bromsgrove are among the biggest contributors of Stamp Duty in the county, stumping up more than £5million between them in the last 12 months.
Figures released this week show that, of the 1,162 properties sold across the district last year, the buyers paid a combined £5,288,726 to The Treasury.
That equates to an average of £4,551.39 per buyer - the highest in the county, with Wychavon District buyers narrowly behind with £4,506.74 and Worcester purchasers next with £2,001.27.
Buyers have to pay Stamp Duty of one per cent on a property which is more than £125,000 and three per cent if their purchase is more than £250,000. The average property price in Bromsgrove is £236,129.
At £500,000 the fee goes up to four per cent, it increases to five per cent after £1million and culminates in a 15 per cent levvy on a home of £2million or more.
Of the £5.2million duty paid, £4,427,788 of that (83.7 per cent) was paid by just 330 buyers who paid Stamp Duty of three per cent and above.
The figures were uncovered by the Taxpayers' Alliance which has launched its Stamp Out Stamp Duty Campaign.
The group is calling on the Goverrnment to cut the tax in a bid to help families get on the property ladder.
It claims Chancellor George Osborne promised to increase the Stamp Duty threshold in 2007, but that had not been done.
Andrew Oulsnam, chartered surveyor and managing partner of Robert Oulsnam and Company, said reducing Stamp Duty would be of great benefit to the housing market.
"Each time the Government has reduced Stamp Duty, there has been an increase in sales.
"Prices have risen but the thresholds haven't, meaning some properties are covered by rates of Stamp Duty that they would not have been before."
He added the extra Stamp Duty had put buyers off from buying properties of certain prices.
But MP Sajid Javid, who is also the economic secretary to The Treasury, said: "Stamp Duty makes an important contribution to pay for public services.
"It's rightly targeted at the priciest homes.
"I don't think the thresholds should be changed at this moment in time, but I know the Government keeps all taxes under review to ensure they are having their desired effect."
And he added, the Government was helping in other ways.
"Housing is a crucial part of the national economy and the dreams and ambitions of millions of people.
"I am pleased to be leading the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme, which is all about getting behind those who aspire to own their own home by increasing the supply of low-deposit mortgages to credit-worthy buyers.
"Additionally, the Funding for Lending scheme will increase the availability of mortgages at competitive rates, while the Equity Loan Scheme will support up to 74,000 homebuyers.
"These initiatives will make the aspiration of home ownership a reality for more people in Bromsgrove and across the country."
Matthew Sinclair, the TaxPayers' Alliance's chief executive, said: “Owning your own home is an important milestone, but for many families it seems harder and harder to reach.
"Ministers have done nothing to ease the burden imposed by Stamp Duty, which is an unfair double tax that gets in the way of would-be first-time buyers and others thinking about moving.
"Instead they have made things worse with new thresholds and new, higher rates.
"The Government needs to act on ministers' rhetoric about getting people onto the property ladder and cut this unfair tax.”
For more on the campaign, visit www.stampoutstampduty.org
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