Sunday, August 20, 2017

Property Taxes

Our "rates" or property taxes are up 30% from last year! Presumably this is partly because of the shift in this state from stamp duty on buying a house (we paid $A 27,000 when we bought this house) to land taxes over time. Only the value of the land is taxed here in Australia, not the structure on it. For "townhouses" like ours - our house is actually a separate house - that are part of a body corporate (condo association) the land is valued as a share of the overall value of the land in the development. Our land share is only valued at $A168k, when a similar individual block in this suburb would be about $400k. So, this means our property tax is much lower than if we didn't live in a development like this. It's still $1,970 per year.

I just noticed that taxes on commercial property are outrageously high. The value in excess of $A600k is taxed at almost 5%. So you would pay about $A40k a year on land valued at $1 million.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

July 2017 Report

Here are our monthly accounts (in AUD):
"Current other income" was very high at $26k due to a lot of money coming in from a consulting project. Spending (not counting mortgage), on the other hand was moderate at $5.6k. After deducting the mortgage payment of $3.9k (which includes implicit interest saving due to our offset account - the actual mortgage payment was about $690 less than this), we saved $16.5k on the current account and added $3.5k in added housing equity. Retirement contributions were lower than recently at $2.9k. I have stopped my voluntary retirement contributions due to the reduction in the concessional contribution cap from 1 July. Moominmama's employer also cut their contributions to her account since the beginning of the new financial year. Even though she has been working part time since the beginning of the calendar year they made contributions at the full time rate up till now. Housing equity increased by $2k. Net saving was, therefore, $21.3k across the board.

The Australian Dollar continued to rise from USD 0.7681 to USD 0.7981. The ASX 200 fell by 0.01%, the MSCI World Index gained 2.83%, and the S&P 500 2.06%. We gained 0.34% in Australian Dollar terms and 1.88% in US Dollar terms. So, we outperformed the Australian and  underperformed the international markets. The best performer in dollar terms was Platinum Capital, gaining $4.0k across our various different holdings. The worst performer was the Unisuper superannuation fund, losing $2.9k. Hedge funds was the best performing asset class in percentage terms thanks to Platinum Capital, followed by private equity. All other asset classes gained apart from large cap Australian stocks which lost 0.04%.

As a result of all this, net worth rose AUD 27k to $1.864 million (new high) or rose USD 76k to USD 1.488 million (also a new high).