Can I dispute my land tax valuation?

Investment property owners are likely to receive a shock as higher land tax valuation assessments are expected this year and beyond as a result of soaring land values which will invariably lead to land tax disputes.

Investment property owners receiving their next land tax valuation assessments should pay close attention to the land value stated on the assessment notice and monitor sales of similar properties. If you are concerned with any substantial increase in land value and the consequent land tax payable, you should consider having the land value reviewed.

The most important factor the Valuer General considers in determining land values is sales of similar properties in a particular locality.

If you want to find your annual land valuation, you can enter your address or Property ID number found on your land valuation notice and search the Queensland Government land valuation search function.

In Qld land values are determined by the Valuer General, not the Office of State Revenue.

Appealing your land valuation

If you don’t agree with your land valuation, you have the right to object to the Valuer General. If you disagree with the objection decision, you can then lodge an appeal with the Land Court.

How land valuations are used

Under the Land Valuation Act 2010, the Valuer General makes land valuations in Queensland. The Valuer-General is the independent head of the State Valuation Service, Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

The Valuer General’s land valuations are used to calculate local government rates, rents for state leasehold land and state land tax.

Objecting to a land valuation

You can send your objection to the Valuer General within 60 days after the issue date on the valuation notice. If the valuation is:

  • $5 million or less, the Valuer General may invite you to attend an objection conference;
  • more than $5 million, the Valuer General must offer you an objection conference.

An objection conference encourages people to settle disputes about objections and promotes an open exchange of information. An independent chairperson facilitates and helps conduct negotiations between the parties.

The Valuer General ultimately decides the objection and issues an objection decision notice. If you don’t agree with the notice, you may lodge an appeal with the Land Court.

Who is entitled to appeal?

You can appeal the objection notice if you’re a Queensland landholder (or landholder’s solicitor or authorised agent) and you’ve previously:

  • lodged an objection with the Valuer General
  • received a decision on that objection that you disagree with.

Appeal period

Lodge your appeal with the Land Court within 60 days of the date of issue of the objection decision notice.

If you file the appeal after the appeal period, the Land Court can hear the appeal only if:

  • the appeal was filed one year or less after the objection decision notice was issued
  • the court believes you had a reasonable excuse for not filing the notice in the appeal period.

How to appeal

The valuation appeal notice must state:

  • the grounds of appeal;
  • your estimated valuation amount; and
  • the amount you’re claiming if you’re claiming a site improvement deduction, if applicable.

The appeal hearing is limited to your grounds of appeal as stated in your notice of appeal. You can’t change or add to your grounds of appeal later.

There are no fees for lodging your appeal.

You must serve a copy of your notice of appeal on the Valuer General within seven days after its filing.

What happens next

If your land valuation is $5 million or less, the Land Court invites you to attend a preliminary conference—an informal meeting between the parties to:

  • discuss the disputed valuation
  • identify the key issues
  • seek an outcome that’s acceptable to all parties without a court hearing.

At the conference, you can meet with a representative from the Valuer General’s office to discuss how your property valuation was determined.

Conferences are usually chaired by the Land Court’s judicial registrar, though a member of the court may preside in some cases.

If the parties agree on a resolution, the judicial registrar or member can make final orders ending the matter there. If parties can’t agree, the appeal is scheduled for a formal court hearing.

The Land Court tries to schedule a preliminary conference within six months of receiving your notice of appeal. However, as conferences are usually held in the district where the land is located, it might take longer in some remote centres.

If your land valuation is $5 million or more, your appeal is listed for a direction hearing before the Land Court president and set down for hearing as soon as possible.

Are you a developer? If so you may be entitled to deductions for site improvements off your statutory valuation

Recently, the Valuer-General began issuing statutory valuations for all land in Queensland. Deductions for site improvements now apply for all land valued using the Site Value methodology, which is all residential and commercial land that is not zoned rural. Farmers may be eligible for the farming concession.

If you are a developer, you may be entitled to deductions for site improvements off your statutory valuation.

Land Tax Valuation Notice Example

Contact us today

For advice on your land tax valuation dispute

    Mark Harley

    About Mark Harley | Principal

    Mark has practiced in commercial law, commercial litigation and insolvency law for almost 10 years. He established the firm in 2014. With degrees in law and information technology, as well as being a director of several companies, Mark speaks the language of business owners and has a first hand understanding of the issues facing his clients.