On 4 March 2020 the Queensland Valuer-General issued land valuations for 21 local government areas (including Brisbane and the Gold Coast). These valuations affect the Land Tax and council rates you pay.  If you disagree with your valuation, your window to object closes on Sunday 3 May 2020.

Some terminology and concepts:-

Deduction for Site Improvements” or “DSI” is a reduction to your site value equal to the value you (not your predecessor) have added to the land within the last 12 years by way of preparing the land for development. For example clearing, fill, leveling, drainage and remediating contamination, but NOT construction-type works (see here for further details).

Site Value” relates to all non-rural land. The value methodology includes site improvements such as levelling, filling & drainage but excludes structures (and excavations-for-structures).

Unimproved Value” relates to rural land only. The value methodology excludes site improvements such as levelling, filling & drainage and any structures.

Grounds for Objection

If you object to your valuation, you will need to submit:-

(a)        specific grounds of objection; and

(b)        supporting evidence

Vague grounds of objection (eg. “it’s excessive”, “it’s unfair”, “the Valuer-General hasn’t followed the law”, “insufficient/irrelevant factors have been taken into account”) will need specific information to support them, failing which the objection will not be “properly made”.

Example grounds for objection include:-

1. “New Site Valuation not supported by property sales evidence”

The objector would submit evidence of other property sales of (ideally) vacant or lightly-   improved land with similar attributes. Ideally, this sales evidence would be from around the time of the Valuer-General’s valuation of the objector’s land (eg. October 2019).

2. “New Site Valuation not reflecting physical characteristics/constraints of land”

The objector might submit evidence of easements, heritage/contamination, planning/use restrictions, limited access, permanent damage from natural disasters and/or other detrimental characteristics.

3. “New Application for DSI”

The objector would apply for a DSI with supporting evidence of the site improvements works undertaken by that objector in the last 12 years.

4. “Other Issues & Technicalities”

The objector might point to wrong selection of non-rural, wrong use (eg. residential/industrial) land grouping issues, land affected by unconsidered issue, DSI discount too small or DSI application rejected.

How to Object

Check your valuation notice to determine which valuation methodology has been applied to your property (either site value or unimproved value) and lodge the appropriate form:

  • Form 58S Notice of Objection (Site Value); or
  • Form 58U Notice of Objection (Unimproved Value).

These notices may be lodged online here.

Whichever ground of objection you choose must be supported with evidence.

A person (eg. a lawyer) can lodge an objection on your behalf if you sign a letter of consent.

What Happens Next?

If your objection is not “properly made” and/or a ground does not comply with the Land Valuation Act 2010, you will be given a limited opportunity to respond/correct.

When your objection is “properly made” the Valuer General will review your objection and the range of outcomes include the need to supply further information, an “objection conference” and Land Court appeal (via mediation and/or hearing) within various time frames. See here for further details.

You can check your Land Tax Valuation on the Queensland Government Website, go to ‘Search Annual Valuation Listings’ and enter your property details when prompted.

Important Notice: This publication is provided as general information only and should not be considered or relied upon as legal advice. The law is complex and you should always obtain specific legal advice about your circumstances from a qualified legal practitioner. If you require legal advice, please contact our office to see how we can help.

If you require assistance with evaluating and lodging an objection please contact us on 07 3392 0099.

Written by Julian Creagh, Associate and Caleb Theunissen, Lawyer, Wilson Lawyers.