More on Land Valuation


tonyhTue, 23/06/2020 - 10:55am

Some notes on land valuation:

The council prepares its budget, then theoretically calculates the return from rates it requires to fulfil that budget. It spreads the rate charges out in proportion to the latest land valuations. If your neighbour’s valuation goes up more than yours, he/she will pay proportionately more. If the council's projected expenditure comes down (and pigs fly), all our rates should come down in proportion. The point being that a land valuation increase doesn't necessarily mean higher rates.

The valuations are supposed to be based on unimproved land. This should mean that, if you have a palace and your neighbour a tent on a similar block, you should both pay the same. But it doesn’t work out like that. I know the valuer takes other subjective things like views into account.There are houses in North Arm Cove that have twice the real estate sales value of ours but which have virtually the same land value and demand the same rates.

There is a map: Enter your street address and wait a long time. It will probably come up with a street map showing you Aberdare! (It does for me.) Click on the drop-down menu where your actual address is displayed and the map opens up to your street with a search result on your house. You will see $ signs on all the houses (zoom in if necessary). Click on anyone of these $ signs and you will see the latest land valuation and the last sales information on that property. Note, many don’t have sales data if there has been no recent sale. This does give everyone the opportunity to compare their valuation to the others. 

There is an article I wrote on the website in 2016: . It's not relevant, but the comments attached to the article by Doug Kohlhoff are and give an understanding of what’s been going on. Not only are we paying higher rates than (and so subsidising) the other two merged councils (Manning and Gloucester), and I'm told our rates here are higher than many in Sydney. Yet the only services we get are roads, street lights, some grass cutting and garbage. And, of course, the non-urban block holders get nothing. We very rarely get visits to the village any more from council officials or, for that matter, from the councillors we elect to represent us. 

Many waterfront houses in Cove Boulevard theoretically own land several metres into the water - land lost over the years to silting and inundation. Waterfront landowners pay rates on this submerged bit because it is included in the land valuations, but have no entitlement to use it. If they build a slipway or jetty, then they have to pay even more rates, this time to Crown Lands! There’s a guy living in Cove Boulevard who challenged his last land valuation and successfully got many thousand knocked off the valuation because he couldn’t utilise all his property.

Tony Hann





Thank you to all our sponsors including