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Statutory Land Valuations

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

But what does the document mean?

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.

Objections
If a property owner does not agree with the new valuation as assessed by the Valuer-General, an objection can be lodged. 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 – indvidual lot owners cannot.
Therefore, if a committee has concerns with the new valuation, it must act qucikly. The body corproate 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.
Grace Lawyers has worked alongside valuers to obtain great results for numerous bodies corproate faced with a signifcant increase to their annual land valuation from the previous year – in some cases up to a $5 million reduction.
Even if your site valuation has not increased from the previous year, it is worth investigating the correctness of the valuation to ensure that owners within a scheme are not paying higher rates and land tax than what the market reflects.
Feel free to contact us if we can assist your scheme in achieving a fair and accurate valuation that is reflective of the current market. 

*The Valuer-General has decided not to value Brisbane properties this year which means last year’s site values will apply.