With landholding costs being a significant expense for not only developers in Queensland but all property owners, it is surprising that many landowners don’t know how or when they can check whether the costs are excessive, or what to do if it turns out they are.
To gain further insight into why this may be, and the opportunities to review and reduce landholding costs, we asked Opteon Senior Property Valuer and Project Manager Jennifer-lee Sinclair for her professional opinion and recommendations for Queensland landowners.
Why are is it important for landowners to check their annual land valuations?
Your land valuation figure impacts your rates and land tax amounts. By the time you get your rates notice and land tax assessment notice, it’s generally too late to challenge the land valuation you’ve received.
Why do you think many owners fail to check on their annual land valuations?
We believe that part of the reason for this is the simple fact that a physical bill is not attached to annual land valuation notices.
We often find that far more property owners are quick to ask Opteon to review their rates and land tax assessment notices (as these are physical bills which need to be paid quite quickly). By this stage it is generally too late to address one of the core matters upon which rates and land tax are actually based, that being, statutory site valuations.
What are statutory site valuations?
It is the site value for each property as issued by the Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy (DNRME) that is used to calculate local government rates, state land tax and state land rental (for leasehold land).
Whilst there are varying ways Opteon can assist to potentially reduce rates and land tax (depending on the property and circumstances), the first step is to check whether the site valuation is indeed correct.
When are site valuations issued?
Annual land valuations are issued in March of each year (before the next round of rates and land tax). Which Local Government Areas (LGA’s) are revalued each year depends on how much the relevant market has changed and is at the Valuer-General’s recommendation.
This year, the Valuer-General issued annual land valuations for 22 local government areas in Queensland.
These are Banana, Barcoo, Boulia, Bulloo, Central Highlands, Charters Towers, Diamantina, Douglas, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Goondiwindi, Hinchinbrook, Isaac, Maranoa, Murweh, Noosa, Paroo, Quilpie, Scenic Rim, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.
The new land valuations are assessed as at 1 October 2017 and effective from 30 June 2018.
When is the best time to look at our land valuation assessment?
Now is the opportune time to have your statutory land valuations reviewed. If you wish Opteon to assist, please contact our team now rather than waiting until you receive your next round of rates or land tax.
We can assist many landowners across Queensland to review land valuations. Where applicable we can challenge land valuations by lodging objections, reviews and appeals with the Department of Natural Resources Mines (DNRME) and the Land Court of Queensland.
The deadline for lodging an objection is 8 May 2018.
What kind of reason would you need to challenge your land valuation?
There are various possible grounds for lodging an objection, including but not limited to:
- Analysing comparable sales evidence
- Analysing the relativity of site values of surrounding comparable property
- Reviewing environmental constraints/flooding issues
- Checking town planning/zoning limitations
- Requesting amalgamated valuation notices or that property be valued separately
- Applying for site deduction applications
- Applying for subdividers discounts
- Applying for single dwelling concessions and primary production concessions
What if I live outside those 22 local government areas?
If you feel your current valuation has been issued incorrectly or is excessive, Opteon can lodge a ‘Request for a Valuation Review’ on your behalf at any stage of the objection period, however, there are no appeal rights.