Rates - Land valuations
A Valuation Notice is sent to all property owners with the annual Rates Assessment Notice to inform the owner of the unimproved value of the land as at 1 January before the start of the financial year; for example the unimproved value of the land at 1 January 2016 for the 2016-17 Rates Assessment Notice. Unit title developments are treated as a single property for valuation purposes and the Valuation Notice is sent to the Owners Corporation. Individual valuation notices are not sent to unit owners.
Unimproved land values in the ACT are assessed independently by the qualified contract valuer engaged by the ACT Revenue Office. The unimproved value of land is defined in sections 6 and 7 of the Rates Act 2004.
The ACT Valuation Office recommends the unimproved values to the Commissioner for ACT Revenue who then determines the new values in accordance with ACT law.
The unimproved land value of each block is assessed by examining the sales evidence of similar properties. Where possible, the sale price of unimproved land in the area is used as a comparison, with adjustments made for any individual difference such as size, location, aspect and view which may affect the value of each block of land.
Where there have been no sales of vacant land in the area, or in comparable areas, the valuer works from the sales of improved properties, and deducts amounts for improvements such as buildings, landscaping, paths, fences and the like, in order to deduce an unimproved land value of the sale blocks. These values are then used to assess the unimproved land value of other blocks.
Why is land revalued?
Land values rarely remain the same over time. Values within the same area and between areas may change, and these changes are indicated by the prices people are willing to pay when buying properties. To ensure that unimproved land values used for rates purposes are as current as possible, a general revaluation of all parcels of land is carried out annually.