LAND TAX GRAB AN ISSUE

Written on the 3 December 2010

LAND TAX GRAB AN ISSUE

PROPERTY owners are urged to check their land valuations for accuracy.

The State Government is updating valuations, which it will use to calculate land tax and council rates for Queensland properties.

Listed property valuer LandMark White (LMW) has raised concerns about the reforms.

Chairman Glenn White (pictured) says the proposed changes present a serious proposition that will likely raise land taxes and rates for commercial property.

“The government’s proposing to change the rules about how land can be valued. Now it’s based on what the land was worth before anything was built, but what they’re going to do is include goodwill of the value of the businesses on the land,” he says.

“This will increase land prices and so it will increase land tax and rates, it’s a serious issue and some of those costs are going to be passed on – the tenants will have to pay for it.

“It’s going to mean an increase in work for us because there’ll be a lot of valuation needed for property owners looking to reduce their potential taxes and rates.”

He says the reforms will push up the cost of land for land tax, but not necessarily market values, so it will act as a disincentive for property ownership as well.

Conversely, Gadens Lawyers partner Stafford Hopewell, says it could substantially reduce bills and taxes.

“A reduction in your land valuation figure can substantially reduce your land tax and rates bills,” says Hopewell.

“The State Government announced its intention to overturn a recent decision by the Queensland Court of Appeal which rejected the State Government’s methods of valuing improved land.

“The Court of Appeal had found that the State Government overestimated the unimproved land value of Pacific Fair Shopping Centre (Gold Coast) by more than $200 million.”

He says the owners of commercial and industrial land are expected to benefit from lower tax and rates.

“While it is always important for landowners to check the accuracy of their land valuation, it is very important at the moment, given the current debate surrounding land valuations in Queensland.”

Land tax is expected to contribute $1 billion to the State Government in FY2010.


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