The Victorian Valuer-General announced today that he has
certified the Victorian biennial 2012 cycle of property
revaluations. In many cases, property valuations have increased and
this means that you can expect higher municipal rates and land tax
assessments in 2012.
Property valuations have increased across the board, with the
state average increases being:
For residential properties - 11%;
For commercial properties - 8.8%;
For industrial properties - 6.9%; and
For rural properties 11.5%.
Are the new valuations really reflective of the current market?
Does it make sense to pay more for your rates and land tax in
circumstances where there is increasing pressure on property prices
and land sales? Rates notices will be sent out to all land owners
in Victoria in the coming days. If you consider that the new
valuation applied to your property is higher than it should be,
then you have a limited time to lodge an objection with your local
council. We provide more detail on what this means and what you can
Land values in Victoria are assessed every two years with the
most recent round of valuations taking place in January 2012.
Valuations are generally conducted by the local municipal councils
and are then forwarded to the Victorian Valuer General for
The Valuer General has recently signed off on revaluations
meaning that councils can now incorporate the updated land
valuations into their next rates notices. It is this valuation
process that determines the rate liability and land tax obligations
of land owners.
As noted above there has been a significant increase in average
land values across the state. Some areas have been affected more
than others. In the Melbourne City municipal area for instance,
commercial land values increased by more than 15% while values of
rural land used for viticulture have, in the Valuer-General's
words, been "smashed".
Increases in land valuations will lead to increases in rates and
land tax bills. We encourage you to review the new rates notice and
consider the valuation attributed to your property. If you feel
that your property has been incorrectly valued, you have the right
to object to the valuation.
Lodging an Objection
Land owners have a right to lodge an objection to a valuation in
respect of their land if they believe it to be incorrect.
After reviewing your rate notice, if you consider the recent
valuations to be incorrect you may elect to lodge an objection.
Councils must consider any objection and determine whether a
valuation needs to be reassessed. Objections can lead to valuations
being reduced. However, Council can also increase a valuation upon
review. Accordingly, it is important to be sure that an objection
is well founded. We generally recommend that expert valuation
advice be obtained before an objection is pursued.
The period for land owners to lodge an objection to a valuation
is strictly two months from the date of the valuation being given,
so it is important for you to consider this issue as soon as you
receive your council rates notice.
How Hall & Wilcox can help
Land owners are encouraged to review their council rates notices
to assess whether the increase in land valuation is an accurate
reflection of the land value. If you consider the recent valuations
to be incorrect or inflated you may wish to consider lodging an
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
Specific Questions relating to this article should be addressed directly to the author.