This week, property owners are receiving the Annual Land Valuation Notice from the State Valuation Service.

Many people won’t pay much attention to the Notice.  It’s only a valuation of the property that you own.  The Notice doesn’t require you to pay any money!

The problem is that the valuations are used to calculate the Land Tax that you will pay in October.  And if the valuations are unreasonably high, you have to take action now.  Any objection has to be lodged by 8 May 2018.

It’s worth taking this issue seriously.  One government agency is assessing the value of your property so that another government agency can send you a land tax bill based solely on their own assessment. 

You need to think ahead

Land Tax is something you ignore until you have to pay it.  Until then, it’s someone else’s problem.

It’s worth taking this issue seriously.  The Valuation Notice on my desk shows an increase in the property value over the previous 12 months of 11%.  Our client believes the market value hasn’t increased by anywhere near that figure!

Where you own more than one property, the values of all the properties are combined and the land tax is calculated on the combined total.

The family home is excluded from any land tax calculations. Also, property owned by Family Trusts and Companies are assessed separately from properties owned in personal names.  The assets owned by different Family Trusts may be combined in certain circumstances.

Objecting to the Valuation

The valuation is not an assessment of the market value of the property.  It’s supposed to be the land value.  It’s called the Unimproved Capital Value of the land.

The land value of an apartment in a high-rise complex will be significantly less than a single house on a block of land.

If you want to object, it will take considerable work.  However it can be worthwhile if there are genuine grounds why the value has been over-stated.

Acceptable grounds of objection

The grounds of objection that are considered, where accompanied with supporting information include:

  1. Sales evidence supports a different value.  Can you provide details of comparable property sales and explain how these properties compare with your land, which illustrates why your land should be valued lower.
  2. Physical characteristics or constraints on the use of the land support a different value.  Can you explain how certain physical characteristics negatively affect the value of your land, or what constraints on the use of the land devalue your land.
  3. Other issues which may affect the valuation.  Can you provide any other relevant information that affects your land value.
  4. Deduction for site improvements  Where your land was valued using site value only, you can apply by providing details and costs of the site works undertaken, including invoices and receipts for the completed works.

Not Acceptable grounds of objection

The Qld Government websites provides the following examples of arguments from land owners which are not considered to be acceptable grounds to make an objection:

  1. statements that are unsubstantiated, broad or generalized:   e.g. The valuation is excessive, unreasonable, wrong or contrary to the law.
  2. comparisons with general market indicators, such as average or median house prices:   e.g. The Valuer-General has been quoted as saying land values in my area have risen an average of 20%, but mine has increased by 50%.
  3. comparisons to previous land values:   e.g. My land value has risen from $250,000 to $300,000 in 2 years. It shouldn’t have increased by this much.
  4. personal circumstances or liability for rates and taxes:  e.g. We don’t use the land in question but still have to pay rates and we can’t afford them.
  5. comparisons with asking prices:  e.g. How can my land be valued at $250,000 when I saw land advertised for sale for $200,000?

How can we help?

You can lodge the objection yourself.  You can also engage us to assist with the lodgment, once you have collated the information to support the grounds for the objection.

Disclaimer: The above is to be considered as general education. This is not advice and it is not to be acted upon without advice from a qualified professional who understands your personal circumstances.

Copyright © 2018 Wockner Lawyers. All Rights Reserved. Contact Wockner Lawyers – [email protected]. This article may not be used without the prior written consent from the author. See below for more details…

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