Grace Lawyers: Statutory Land Valuations 2023

New land valuations are about to be issued for:

  • these areas in South East Queensland: Brisbane, Noosa, Logan, Ipswich and Scenic Rim; and
  • these areas in regional Queensland: Balonne, Barcaldine, Blackall-Tambo, Burdekin, Cloncurry, Flinders, Gladstone, Gympie, Hinchinbrook, Lockyer Valley, Mackay, Maranoa, McKinlay, Mount Isa, Redmond, Southern Downs, Tablelands, Weipa and Western Downs.

 

For most body corporate managers, a fairly ordinary looking blue and white document issued by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines may have recently appeared in mail boxes across Queensland for each of the schemes they manage.

This document will have a real effect on the wallets of lot owners. If the valuation has increased, so will the rates payable to the local government from 1 July. Given the booming property market in Queensland, it is highly likely that there will be a substantial increase in that valuation.

Now is the time to assess that, consider whether the increase is warranted and decide whether to lodge an objection within the strict timeframes.

If your scheme is affected from the statutory land valuation, we urge you to please read on ahead as it may prove extremely beneficial for the scheme.

Annual land valuation notice

An annual land valuation notice is issued by the Valuer-General of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines to all rateable properties across Queensland.  If owners of lots in a scheme you manage pay rates, the Body Corporate will receive a notice.

One land valuation notice is issued to the service address for the scheme (as opposed to each lot owner). Usually the body corporate manager holds that service address, so it is their role to ensure a copy of the notice is passed on to all lot owners.

Importantly, the purpose of the Valuer-General valuing land is to:

  1. determine any land tax liabilities under the Land Tax Act 2010 (Qld); and
  2. make and levy local government rates.

 

This means that when calculating rates and land tax payable by a property owner, the local council relies upon the land valuations issued for the property.

For this reason, it is important that bodies corporate keep track of their previous and new site valuations and ask questions if there appears to be a significant variance.

The valuations are assessed as at 1 October of any given year and the notices are issued before 31 March of the following year. The valuations assessed in October then take effect on 30 June.

The following 24 local government areas are receiving new land valuations in 2023:

BalonneBarcaldineBlackall-TamboBrisbane
BurdekinCloncurryFlindersGladstone
GympieHinchinbrookIpswichLockyer Valley
LoganMackayMaranoaMcKinlay
Mount IsaNoosaRedmondScenic Rim
Southern DownsTablelandsWeipaWestern Downs

Objections

An objection can be lodged if a property owner does not agree with the new valuation as assessed by the Valuer-General. The notice itself will set out the due date for the filing of any objection, which is usually two months after the the date of issue of the annual land valuation notice.

Only the body corporate of a community titles scheme can make an objection – individual lot owners cannot.

If a committee has concerns with the new valuation, it must act immediately. The body corporate may lose the right to object to an inaccurate valuation if it misses this important deadline.

Outcomes

Not only does the reduction to the land valuation have an immediate effect by lowering rates and land tax payable, but the lower a valuation is for each year, the less the valuation will be for the following years to come.

The opposite also applies – an increase in the land valuation will increase the rates and land tax.  Given recent market conditions, substantial increases should be expected.

As part of their risk and expectation management, strata managers should make sure the land valuation notices have been forward to committees without delay.  When doing so, you should point out the timeframe for lodging an objection.

Grace Lawyers has worked alongside valuers to obtain great results for numerous bodies corporate faced with a significant increase to their annual land valuation from the previous year – in some cases up to a $5 million reduction.

To make sure you are in the best position to immediately respond to land valuation notices, please contact Brenton Schoch to request a proposal so we may assist your committees understand their rights and obligations when a notice is received, and their options should they wish to lodge an objection.

Author: Brenton Schoch & Jessica Cannon, Grace Lawyers 

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