New land valuations are about to be issued for the majority of all properties in Queensland. The new valuations will be used for the assessment of State land tax, State land rental and local government rates. Landowners who are dissatisfied with the new valuations have the right to object but strict timeframes and requirements apply.

New land valuations

The Valuer-General is due to issue new annual statutory land valuations for 24 local government areas across Queensland including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Redland, Moreton Bay, Toowoomba, Gladstone, Mackay and Cairns on 2 March 2016.

The new valuations are issued under the Land Valuation Act 2010 (LVA) and are used to assess State government land tax, State land rental and local government rates and take effect on 30 June 2016.

Overall, urban land values have generally increased in Brisbane and surrounding local government areas and Cairns. In particular, increasing residential land values have occurred in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Cairns. 

According to the Valuer-General, the highest increases have occurred in the Brisbane CBD and fringe suburbs, including South Brisbane, West End and Kangaroo Point. Commercial values have also generally experienced significant increases in Brisbane.

Values for residential and commercial land have also generally increased in South East Queensland, Toowoomba and Cairns. Conversely, values in other regional and rural areas that have been re-valued are generally static or declining.

Objecting to new valuations

For the owners of land subject to new valuations, it is important to review the new valuations to determine whether these accurately reflect market changes and conditions as the statutory valuations can have a significant effect on property values and financial costs incurred by owners.

Also, the new valuations are issued under what is known as a ‘mass appraisal’ system whereby changes in market value are broadly analysed and applied to the properties being valued. The new valuations may therefore fail to take account of a range of relevant factors such as physical characteristics or legal restrictions on the land being valued. Sales evidence may also be wrongly applied. This can cause a range of errors resulting in excessive valuations.

Objections must be lodged and received by the Valuer-General within 60 days of the date of issue of the valuation notice. Any objection made out of time is invalid and cannot be considered.

Objections must also provide sufficient information to demonstrate that the valuation is incorrect and include all required information in accordance with the LVA. 

The landowner has the onus of proving that a valuation is incorrect and owners should consider seeking professional advice to ensure that objections are properly made and based on relevant grounds.