In brief - Inquiry's recommendations to make land valuation
in NSW fairer
Submissions received by the Parliamentary Land Valuation Inquiry
have highlighted a systemic failure to provide transparency around
land valuation methodologies and to treat landholders with respect,
dignity and fairness.
Inquiry's intention to conduct comprehensive overhaul of
land valuation system
The chairman of the NSW land valuation system inquiry, Mr Matt
Kean MP, was reported in January 2013 to have said: "I am
determined to apply the blow torch to the entire [valuation]
process in order to safeguard the public's confidence."
(See Millions may have overpaid land tax, rates, Sean
Nicholls, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 January 2013.)
Mr Kean has now well and truly delivered on that promise.
Some of the "blow torch" changes recommended in the
report might be considered radical, given the perhaps natural
reluctance of Parliament to tinker with the basis on which land tax
and council rates are assessed.
Key recommendations of the Land Valuation Inquiry
Some of the key recommendations of the Land Valuation Inquiry
are summarised below.
The office of the Valuer General of NSW should be
abolished and a new independent Valuation Commission (with
three Valuation Commissioners) established.
The new Valuation Commission should adopt a rules based
approach including, importantly, issuing public guidelines
on appropriate valuation methodologies to be applied by valuers for
different types of land.
The circumstances in which landowners can seek a review
of land values should be expanded and should include the
ability to seek a review of a Valuation Commissioner's decision
from the Administrative Decisions Tribunal (to be renamed the NSW
Civil and Administrative Tribunal from 1 January 2014), in addition
to the Land & Environment Court.
A new valuation review mechanism and compulsory
acquisition value process should be introduced. There are
various recommendations made to improve the fairness of those
processes to landowners.
Council rates should be determined on the average of
the last three years' land valuations to dampen
fluctuations in land values, in a similar way to the current
averaging mechanism used to calculate land tax.
The Council announced planning policies to encourage more inner suburban retirement village and aged care development.
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