Land Valuation - Worth a Fight?


tonyhSun, 14/03/2021 - 3:38pm

I wrote some notes on land valuation in an article on this site in June last year - .

At that time, the Valuer General was busy concluding the once-every-three-year task of revaluing North Arm Cove properties.  The result was a bit of a shock in July when we received a letter form the Valuer General’s office to say that our assessed value was $114,000 higher than in had been at the last valuation in 2017. That was an increase of 28.4% in three years, despite falling sales values.

So, we decided to challenge the new assessment on the basis of three obvious flaws in the process, these being:

  • A graph of median prices for North Arm Cove which actually showed a 30.8% decrease in property sales values over the same three year period.
  • The property sales values used by the consulting valuers, Robertson and Robertson, for doing the assessment did not, in our opinion, compare like-for-like properties.
  • There was clear evidence that these consulting valuers clearly had never been to NAC as part of the assessment process. They referred to our village as being a residential riverside suburb with town water and sewer services available to all properties. With “schools, shops and services located within an expected serviceable distance to the property”, whatever that means.

We were also encouraged by friends in the village who had similar concerns, who had successfully objected to the VG, and who had gained a significant land value reduction in a revised assessment.

On March 3, and nearly 8 months after submitting our objections, we finally received a letter from the VG which agreed to a $95,000 reduction on the R & R consultants original land valuation.

Is it worth it?

Readers of my article from June will understand that land valuation is, in itself, not an indicator of how big our rates bill will be. Land valuations do not affect the total rates a council can collect which is regulated and currently capped at a 5% increase each year.

As per individual property rates, it’s all about increases or decreases in land value when compared with the average in each rates category, and individual rates can certainly change by more than 5% if land valuations justify such changes.

You can do the numbers for yourself by following this council link: file:///C:/Users/tonyh/Downloads/How-to-Read-your-rate-notice.pdf

So our "recommended" 28.4% increase wouldn’t have translated into a 28.4% increase in rates payable. And any savings resulting from our successful challenge will only amount to about $300 over the next three years.

But we don’t think that’s the point. Our rates are already extremely high for the low level of services we receive. And, if our highly paid bureaucrats can’t get things even approximately right, who knows what the end cost to us will be?

Tony Hann


Just to clarify, the savings from the valuation reduction should be about $300 a year, not $300 over the next three years as written. Tony H

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