Land Tax Alert

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This Alert notifies owners of taxable land of the existence of an avenue to object to a valuation of land within 2 months of receiving a notice of assessment of land tax. This avoids the necessity to wait until a notice of valuation is given, usually by a council in June or July.

Land tax payable as a result of the assessment of land tax for 2024 has shocked many owners. This is partly a result of:

  • the substitution of the valuer-general for council as the valuation authority in respect of rateable land in a municipal district, in certain cases resulting in an exponential increase in valuations made of site value and capital improved value; and
  • amendments to land tax rates introduced under the COVID Debt Repayment Plan, which formed part of the State government’s 2023/2024 Budget.

Under ss 16(6A) of the Valuation of Land Act 1960 (Vic) (“the VL Act”):

a person who has been given a notice of valuation and who is subsequently assessed for land tax […] based on that valuation is deemed to be a person aggrieved by the valuation when the person receives the notice of assessment.

On receipt of the notice of assessment, the person may lodge a written objection, among other things, on the ground ‘that the value assigned is too high or too low’: ss 16(1) and 17(a).

Kellehers Australia is involved in valuation objections for clients arising from land tax notices of assessment.

This Alert highlights that an objection must be lodged within 2 months after receiving the notice of assessment of land tax: s 18(c). As objection deadline is generally non-negotiable, it is a precaution to calculate the time for lodging an objection by the date of the notice.

In several cases, the deadline for objection is immanent – falling due more or less over the Easter period.

Lodging an objection does not avoid the taxpayer’s liability to pay the land tax (as assessed) on the date by which payment is due. If successful, however, an objection may lead to subsequent adjustment in respect of the amount paid.

Once a valid objection is lodged, SRO will:

  • appoint a valuer to determine the objection, who is then required, among other things, to provide ‘a description of the rating authority’s valuation approach including, if appropriate, any sales or rentals relied on’; and
  • give the objector an opportunity to provide a written submission in response and to discuss the objection with the SRO’s appointed valuer.

Independent valuation advice generally assists an objector, but knowledge of comparable sales indicate whether the taxable value is higher than the market.

If you consider we could assist with an urgent valuation objection, please contact Mr Cameron Algie cameron@kellehers.com.au or Dr Leonie Kelleher OAM leonie@kellehers.com.au.

25 March 2024
KELLEHERS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

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