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Industry concerned about integrity of government valuations

The Property Council has today raised major concerns with the Valuer-General’s decision not to issue new statutory valuations for a number of the state’s most significant local government areas, including Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton Bay and Townsville. 
As a result, in 2018, less than 30 per cent of properties across Queensland will receive new valuations.

According to Chris Mountford, Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council, this means that many landowners who might be feeling the effects of a slowing or changing market, will be stuck paying land tax and rates based on valuations issued at the peak of the market.

“Valuations are meant to be undertaken annually, and are primarily used for the purpose of setting local government rates and state government land tax,” Mr Mountford says.

“Such a scaled back annual valuation is not a good look and raises serious questions about the State’s valuation system. 

“Has the government made this decision because the State Valuation Service doesn’t have the resources to undertake the task? Or perhaps the State is looking to ensure its land tax revenue is locked in at a certain level for next year? Either way, it’s not the basis of a fair tax system.

“In both 2015 and 2016, landowners in Brisbane’s CBD raised significant concerns with their annual land valuations. In 2016, almost 1,200 objections were lodged across Brisbane, 241 of them for properties over $5 million- most of them in the CBD. A similar number were lodged in the previous year. 

“Given this level of debate about statutory valuations in Brisbane in recent years, its clearly an odd decision not to revalue the State’s capital city.  

According to the Act, the Valuer-General must make an annual valuation of all assessable land in a local government area, unless there are unusual circumstances, or after considering a market survey of the area and consulting with appropriate local and industry groups.

“Given that it’s called an ‘annual valuation’, the Property Council consistently advocates that all local government areas should be valued every year to appropriately reflect movements in the market - particularly in the state’s capital city.

“Major, diverse markets such as Brisbane need to be valued every year to ensure the tax system remains fair and equitable. 

“A significant number of transactions were undertaken in the 2016-2017 financial year, which would help inform new valuations. On this basis, the Property Council sees no reason for the decision not to value more than 29 per cent of rateable properties across the state.”