Land valuations from the Queensland Valuer-General will be arriving soon. If you think your valuation is too high, it will be important to object. Otherwise, you will be paying additional land tax.

Often people are pleased to see an increase in the value of their land under the Valuer-General’s annual land valuations, even if they don’t necessarily agree with it. However, this pleasure quickly disappears when the higher valuation translates to an increase in land tax and rates.

When you receive your annual land tax valuation this year, take the time to think about whether it matches up to what you think the freehold land (without buildings) is worth or whether the land has some special characteristics or limitations that the Valuer-General may not have taken into account. If so, you will have 60 days from the date of the valuation to lodge an objection. By the time you receive your land tax assessment it will be too late to object to the value of the land.

Can I object?

A few things to think about in deciding whether to object are set out below.

  • Has the land been classified appropriately as either rural or non-rural? This is important in deciding whether or not ‘site improvements’ need to be included in the valuation.
  • Is the value consistent with recent comparable property sales?
  • Does the land have special physical characteristics that might affect its value and does the value appear to take these into account? E.g. shape, size, topography, noise, vibration, erosion or access restrictions.
  • Are there constraints on the use of the land that may affect its value and are these reflected in the value? E.g. listing on the heritage or contaminated land register, height or development restrictions and any encumbrances such as easements, rights of way, covenants or caveats.
  • Have you made ‘site improvements’ to the land in the last 12 years? E.g. clearing vegetation, removing stones, works to manage or remedy contamination, filling, grading, levelling or underground drainage. For non-rural land, it may be possible to deduct the value added by these improvements from a land valuation.
  • If the land is located within a mining or petroleum lease area there are special rules that should have been applied which effectively cap the value of that land based on a multiple of the yearly rent payable with respect to the mining or petroleum lease (i.e. 20 times the yearly rent payable for mining leases and six times the yearly rent payable for petroleum leases).