The NSW Acting Valuer General is progessively issuing new valuations to Eurobodalla land owners with the land values reflecting the unimproved value of land as at 1 July 2019.
Acting Valuer General Paul Chudleigh said “I acknowledge that issuing new valuation notices at this time may cause distress to some property owners who have been impacted by the bushfires so we will delay the issuing of notices in bushfire affected regions until April. People in bushfire affected communities are hurting. Many have suffered property damage or lost homes, and some have also lost loved ones and many will be living in areas that remain devastated for some time following these tragic events.” The new valuations are used to determine the contribution that ratepayers make to their General Fund contribution. It is reported that land values decreased across NSW by 5.4% to $1.73 trillion in the 12 months to 1 July 2019 which will have an impact, not only on local government revenues but also on State Government funds as well as land values are provided to Revenue NSW for land tax purposes and made available to local councils for rating purposes. Land valuations are made annually and new valuations will be made at 1 July 2020 to reflect any impact from the bushfires in affected areas. Meanwhile Eurobodalla Council is pushing ahead to have councillors endorse a 2.6% rate increase along with similar increases in water, sewer, environment levies and overall fees and charges. With a downturn in land valuations this will likely impact on the revenue Council receives. As an aside Eurobodalla's Councillor Lindsay Brown has long been an advocate of changing the rates base from unimproved values to improved values to garner more revenue. In his 2015 submission to the the NSW Legislative Council’s inquiry into local government Clr Brown (then Mayor Brown) voiced his interest in considering a move away from land rates based on unimproved value to capital improved value, which refers to the total market value of the land and improved value of the property and that rate exemptions such as pensioner rebates should be reviewed for sustainability and equity. Eurobodalla's ERA Councillors were surprised to learn that Mayor Lindsay Brown made a submission without any community consultation to the NSW Legislative Council’s inquiry into local government. read more : Consistency between what is said and what is done DOES matter The NSW Valuer General, Dr David Parker, has released a study on the impact of past bushfire events on land values following the recent bushfire crisis that affected large areas of NSW. “The study reviewed a number of past bushfire events across the state and compared sales of property that had occurred before and after the fires,” Dr Parker said. “The study found the impact of bushfires on land values varied depending on the location of properties in a bushfire affected area, the proportion of properties damaged, and the prevailing level of demand for land in that locality.” The impact varied from no change for areas with few properties lost and a high level of demand to a 30% decrease in land value for areas with high property loss and low demand for land. Dr Parker said land values for all land in NSW are determined annually. “Property sales are generally the most important factor considered by valuers when determining land values. “In the absence of sufficient sales evidence following the most recent bushfires, the study will assist valuers in determining the 1 July 2020 land values for bushfire affected properties.” Land values determined by the Valuer General are used annually by Revenue NSW for land tax and at least once every three years by local councils for rating purposes. The 1 July 2019 land values were issued to both Revenue NSW and local councils. These values were determined prior to the recent bushfires. Dr Parker said: “Many communities have been devastated by the bushfires and people have suffered property damage, lost homes, businesses and farm buildings. “To support communities affected by the recent bushfires, I am offering councils the opportunity to receive 1 July 2020 land values for rating which will reflect the impact of the fires”. A copy of the study is available on the Valuer General’s website, valuergeneral.nsw.gov.au.