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Stamp duty

"Taxes upon the sale of land fall altogether upon the seller. The seller is almost always under the necessity of selling, and must, therefore, take such a price as he can get. The buyer is scarce ever under the necessity of buying, and will, therefore, only give such a price as he likes. He considers what the land will cost him, in tax and price together. The more he is obliged to pay in the way of tax, the less he will be disposed to give in the way of price. Such taxes, therefore, fall almost always upon a necessitous person, and must, therefore, be frequently very cruel and oppressive."

   --  Adam Smith

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty is a general tax imposed upon certain documents and some undocumented acquisitions. These include title transfers as a result of selling real estate, vehicles, business assets and other property; gifts; insurance policies and home loans, and is paid by the purchaser or borrower

Where does it come from?

Stamp duty was originally introduced as a temporary tax in 1694 by a weird coalition of Dutch and British Monarchs, to maintain the war against their French foes.

What's wrong with stamp duty?

Stamp duty is a farce

Originally stamp duty was for documents stamped with a physical stamp. Now when stamp duty is levied, the payer doesn't even receive a stamp.

Stamp duty is not fair

A stamp duty is a tax on transaction. It disproportionally affects people who do more transactions.

Take the example of a stamp duty of 3% 
Person 1 lives in a city with a home worth 400,000. They paid 12,000 stamp duty. They live there for 30 years.
Person 2 lives in the same city and has a home valued at 400,000, but they move 3 times due to various factors such as natural change in their life, such as work, families or divorce.

Person 2 will pay at least 36,000(actually a lot more due to inflation) in stamp duty in their life for no other reason than having more natural change in their life,.

Stamp duty is a tax on property valuation and not net wealth. It is primarily a moving tax.

Stamp duty affects the wrong people at just the wrong time

Stamp duty on property affects those with bigger families.
Bigger families would ideally want bigger properties. 
When they decide to upsize, not only do they have the normal expensive costs of moving, but they have to pay for a more expensive property and they have to pay stamp duty, and the stamp duty will be bigger than that on their old property.
When they decide to downsize, they have similar properties. Denying those whose properties re not big enough an opportunity and those that are under utilising their property from downsizing.

Money raised from stamp duty not spent on those who pay it

The money taken for stamp duty, rarely goes even partially to the roads, or street lighting, or even any benefit for the resident who paid for it.

Stamp duty contradicts other taxation policy's

Stamp duty is a tax on assets, this is one of the worst types of tax, as it is double taxation, but also because it is lump sum and you cannot offset your previous stamp duty costs against the current one.
The worst thing is it changes the effective tax rate of the payer to a higher amount than was planned by the national tax body. This is the tax rate that is deemed as fair.

It is applied more than once.

There are 2 identical houses. One house is sold 10 times in 10 years, it will have 10 lots of stamp duty applied to it. But the  other house sold 1 time in 10 years will have only one lot of stamp duty applied to it. 
How can basically the same asset have two rates of tax applied?
Its possible for an asset to have so much stamp duty paid over time, that the stamp duty equates to more than the value of that asset.