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The site value (also known as land value or taxable value) of your land is important because it is used to calculate land tax.

Site value and how it affects land tax

Site value is the unimproved value of land. It excludes capital improvements such as buildings. Local councils conduct site valuations on most Victorian land every two years and use these site valuations to calculate their rates. We use council site valuations to calculate land tax for two years.

2016 was the most recent valuation year and 2016 site valuations are used to calculate land tax in 2017 and 2018.

On your land tax assessment, site value is referred to as taxable value. We calculate land tax by applying the appropriate tax rate to the total taxable value of your land holdings. The total taxable value of your land holdings does not include exempt land such as your home. You can find the taxable value of your land on the right hand side of your Statement of Lands.

If you want to object to anything other than the site valuation on your land tax assessment, you should refer to our amendments and objections information.

Sometimes, instead of council valuations we use site valuations made by the Valuer-General on behalf of the Commissioner of State Revenue. These are called Commissioner’s valuations.

How do 2016 site valuations affect land tax in 2017 and 2018?

If you are an existing land taxpayer, your 2017 land tax assessment (based on the 2016 council site valuation) may have increased from your 2016 assessment (based on the 2014 council site valuation). This could be because the 2016 council site valuation of your land increased since the previous site valuation in 2014. In some cases, this could be a significant increase because the value of your land has increased significantly. Your 2018 land tax assessment will also be based on the 2016 council site valuation.

If you received a land tax assessment for the first time in 2017, it may be because your property's site value increased past the $250,000 land tax threshold (for trusts, it's $25,000) since 2014.

Land value and tax brackets

Increases in the taxable value of your property may result in your land tax assessment moving into a higher tax bracket. Land tax is calculated using a sliding scale of tax rate based on a property's total taxable site value.

If your property value has increased so that you are in a higher tax bracket than previous years, this may mean your land tax bill will increase significantly. 

In some cases, the percentage increase in the land tax you must pay will be higher than the percentage increase of your total taxable land value. 

Disagreeing with the taxable value of your land 

You can object to the taxable value of the land set out in your land tax assessment or the site value in your rates notice if you disagree with it, but you cannot object to the same valuation more than once within 12 months. 

Objecting to the taxable value set out in your land tax assessment is a different process to objecting to the site value in your council rates notice. You object to the taxable value set out in your land tax assessment through the SRO, but object to the site value set out in your council rates notice with the council which issued it. 

Objecting to the site valuation(s) in your council rate notice

If you want to object to the site value, CIV or NAV shown on your rates notice, you must contact your relevant council. You must complete the appropriate council valuation objection form and lodge your objection with them within two months of receiving your rates notice. ​

The SRO is not part of this process. It is a matter between you and your council.

Objecting to the taxable value in your assessment

Please read our amendments and objections information if you want to change or object to anything other than the site valuation in your land tax assessment. 

To object to the taxable (site) value in your land tax assessment, you need to complete and lodge a Land Valuation Objection Form within two months of receiving the assessment. You can complete and submit this form online.

Lodge an objection

Once we receive your objection, we acknowledge receipt in writing and explain what happens next.

If the value of the land is based on a council valuation, we forward your objection to the relevant council for determination at the same time as we write to you. The information you provide on the form will help in discussions with the council’s valuer.

If the value of the land is based on a Commissioner’s valuation, we consult with the Valuer-General before making a decision on your objection. Your objection will be determined under the Taxation Administration Act 1997 by the Commissioner.

Paying land tax while you object

You should pay your land tax bill in accordance with your assessment while you are waiting for a decision.

If you do not pay, interest may accrue on the outstanding amount. If your objection is allowed or partially allowed, you will be refunded any overpayment with interest.

Pay your land tax

Processing your objection

A council has four months from receiving your objection from us to provide a determination. If no determination is made within that time, the council is deemed to have disallowed the objection and you may apply to the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a review of a deemed disallowance of your objection. Alternatively, you can apply to refer the matter to the Supreme Court of Victoria if the VCAT president is satisfied the matter raises questions of unusual difficulty or general importance.

We have 90 days from the date of receiving your objection to a Commissioner’s valuation to make a determination. If we don’t make a determination within 90 days, you can request that we refer the matter to VCAT or treat the objection as an appeal to the Supreme Court of Victoria.

A council or the Valuer-General are still able to make a determination on your objection any time after these stipulated time frames.

Determining your objection

Valuations by councils

If the valuation was done by a council or its valuer, they will advise you in writing of their decision on your objection. Your objection may be disallowed, allowed or allowed in part, or ruled invalid. The SRO will also be advised of the outcome of your objection.

If the council’s valuer recommends to the Valuer-General that the site value of the land be adjusted, the Valuer-General will notify both you and us, in writing, of their decision. If the Valuer-General does not confirm the recommendation within two months of receiving it from the council, the Valuer-General is deemed to have disallowed the recommended adjustment.

If the site value of the land is reduced by the Valuer-General, we will amend the land tax assessment that you have objected to and refund any overpayment of land tax, including the appropriate interest amounts payable under the Tax Administration Act.

Commissioner’s valuations

If your objection relates to a Commissioner’s valuation, you will be advised in writing of the decision. Your objection may be disallowed, allowed or allowed in part.

Appealing the outcome of your objection

Council or Valuer-General decision

If the council or the Valuer-General makes a decision on your objection and you are dissatisfied with it, you can apply to VCAT for a review of the decision. An application must be made within 30 days of the date the notice of decision is given to you by council or the Valuer-General.

You must serve a copy of your application on the relevant council. The registrar of VCAT will notify the Valuer-General of your referral application.

Council or Valuer-General's deemed disallowance

For a deemed disallowance of your objection by a council, you must apply to VCAT within nine months of the date we referred your objection to the relevant council.

If your objection is deemed to have been disallowed because the Valuer-General has not confirmed a recommended adjusted site value, you must make an application to VCAT at any time after the end of the two-month period allowed for the Valuer-General to confirm the adjusted site value. You must serve a copy of the application on the relevant council.

Given the statutory timelines for an application for review, it is important for you to note the date:

  • We referred your objection to the relevant council, and
  • A copy of the council valuer’s adjustment recommendation was given to you.

Commissioner’s decision

If you are dissatisfied with the determination of your objection to a Commissioner's valuation, you can request that we refer the matter to VCAT or treat the objection as an appeal to the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Your request for referral must be in writing to us and be made within 60 days after the determination was served on you.

Frequently asked questions

1.Why did my 2017 land tax assessment increase from 2016?

Land tax is calculated on the site value of land as a percentage of that value, so if the site value increases, the amount of land tax you pay also increases. Site valuations take place every two years. Your 2016 land tax assessment was based on a 2014 site valuation. Your 2017 land tax assessment is based on a 2016 site valuation, as will your 2018 land tax assessment. Generally, as land value in Victoria has increased since 2014, the amount of land tax you pay has correspondingly increased.  

2. I have not received a land tax assessment before. Why am I getting one now?

There could be several reasons for this. You may have bought additional land during the year that is not exempt, land previously exempt may no longer be exempt, or land you own in Victoria may have increased in value and taken you over the land tax threshold, which is currently $250,000.

Your principal place of residence (your home) is exempt from land tax so if the only land you own is the home you live in, you should not pay land tax. If you receive a land tax assessment for your home, call us on 13 21 61 so we can amend our records.

3. Do I have to pay land tax while waiting for a decision on my objection?

Yes. We have the power under the Tax Administration Act to recover tax even though an objection, review or appeal is pending. If you do not pay the assessed tax while waiting for a decision on your objection, interest may accrue on the outstanding liability.

4. If my objection results in reducing the site value for my land, will the reduced site value be applied to future land tax assessments?

If you have successfully objected to a site value shown in a land tax assessment for a particular tax year and the site value is reduced, we will amend your assessment for that tax year. The reduced site value will also be used to assess that land for the next tax year, if necessary. However, we cannot apply the reduced site value retrospectively to amend assessments for previous tax years.

Example

The 2016 general land valuation is used to assess land tax for the 2017 and 2018 land tax years. If you successfully objected to the site value used in your 2017 assessment, the reduced site value applies to both your 2017 and 2018 land tax assessments.

If, however, you successfully objected to a 2018 land tax assessment, we cannot retrospectively apply the reduced site value to the 2017 assessment.

5. I am waiting for a decision on my objection to a site value based on a previous general valuation, for example, the 2014 general valuation. Should I also object to a site valuation used in a subsequent assessment where that assessment is based on a new general valuation, for example, the 2016 general valuation?

In this situation, it is advisable that you object to the valuation used in the subsequent assessment. If you do not object, any adjustment made to the site value based on the previous general valuation will not apply to the site value used in the subsequent assessment.

Example

Daniel objects to the site value shown in his 2016 land tax assessment, which is based on the 2014 general valuation. While waiting for the outcome of Daniel’s objection to the 2016 assessment, the 2017 assessment is issued, which is based on the 2016 general valuation.

If Daniel is not satisfied with the site value shown in his 2017 assessment, he should also object to that site value because any adjustment to the site value for his 2016 assessment (based on the 2014 general valuation) will not apply to his 2017 assessment (based on the 2016 general valuation).

6. Can I object to the site value for land included in a reassessment?

There are some instances where we will reassess a taxpayer’s liability and amend the initial notice of assessment to add land to the taxpayer’s landholdings. If you have been reassessed for additional land, the objection period in respect of the additional land is:

  • Two months, if the site value is based on a valuation made by a council, or

  • 60 days, if the site value is based on a Commissioner’s valuation.

In both cases, the objection timeline starts from the date the reassessment was served on you.

Example

Julie is issued with a 2016 land tax assessment on 1 March 2016 in respect of her property (Greenacre). We discover an additional property (Blackacre) owned by Julie and issue a reassessment to her on 1 June 2016 for Greenacre and Blackacre. Both lands are assessed using the site values carried out by council.

If Julie wants to object to the site value for Blackacre, she must lodge an objection within two months, provided she has not objected to that site value in her rate notice within the last 12 months.

Julie cannot object to the site value for Greenacre as the two-month objection period ended at the beginning of May 2016.

Instructions for site valuation objections

  If you want to object to the site valuation on your:
Council rates notice Land tax assessment notice
Who should I object to? The relevant council The State Revenue Office
When must I object by? Within two months of receiving your rates notice Within two months of receiving the land tax assessment notice
How do I object? Complete the appropriate council valuation objection form Complete and lodge a Land Valuation Objection Form, which you can do online
What happens next? Check with the council as this is a matter between you and them

We acknowledge receipt of your objection in writing and explain the next steps

If the site value of the land is based on a council valuation, we forward your objection to that council

If the site value of the land is based on a Commissioner’s valuation, we consult with the Valuer-General before we make a decision on your objection
What can result from my objection? It can be allowed in full or in part, or disallowed It can be allowed in full or in part, disallowed or deemed invalid
How will I find out the result of my objection? The council will let you know in writing

If the valuation was carried out by a council, you will be advised in writing of the decision by that council or its valuer

If the council’s valuer recommends to the Valuer-General to adjust the site value of the land, the Valuer-General will notify both you and us, in writing, of the decision

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