In late 2019 New South Wales (NSW) Justice issued a natural disaster declaration following severe bushfires in Northern NSW. By January 2020 a natural disaster declaration had been issued for 51 Local Government Areas (LGA) across NSW. The Valuer General is responsible for providing independent and impartial land values for use by Revenue NSW and councils for taxing and rating. The Valuer General issues councils with new land values for rating at least once every three years and annually to Revenue NSW. The Valuer General has issued 1 July 2019 land values to all councils to use for rating from 1 July 2020. The land values were determined before the bushfires occurred. Valuer General NSW response to the bushfire disaster: The 1 July 2019 land values were issued to all councils and Revenue NSW progressively during October and November 2019. All landholders will have received a Notice of Valuation advising their 1 July 2019 land value during the period 15 January to 1 May 2020. The mailing of notices to bushfire affected areas in NSW was deferred to the end of the mail out period and commenced from 1 April 2020. As new valuations are made annually, the 1 July 2020 land values will reflect any impact from the bushfires. The Valuer General will offer 1 July 2020 land values for all properties in bushfire affected council areas for rating purposes. If councils make the decision to accept the Valuer General’s offer of new land values for rating, new Notices of Valuation will be issued to property owners. The assessment of land value is conventionally based upon an appropriately large sample of relevant sales of comparable land and/or buildings. However, in the case of land adversely affected by the NSW bushfire crisis in 2019 to 2020, an appropriately large sample of sales of bushfire affected land is not expected to be available to inform the assessment of land values as at 1 July 2020. The Valuer General’s contract valuers have been instructed to analyse all sales in bushfire affected areas. If available, these sales will provide the best evidence for the 1 July 2020 land values in these locations. However, if there is not enough sales evidence in these locations to accurately determine land values, other evidence will need to be considered. Accordingly, the Valuer General has commissioned this study of the impact of previous bushfires in NSW on land values.
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