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Exemption - primary production land, definition of 'greater Melbourne'

Background

The taxpayer claimed that the land was exempt under s65 of the Land Tax Act (land outside greater Melbourne). However, the Commissioner claimed that the issue was whether the land was exempt under s67 (as land in an urban zone in greater Melbourne).

The Supreme Court upheld the assessments and the taxpayer appealed the decision to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal unanimously applied its own decision in Commissioner of State Revenue v Burgess Properties Pty Ltd [2015] VSCA 269 and rejected the taxpayer’s argument that ‘greater Melbourne’ did not include councils that had ceased to exist by 1 July 2007 when the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works Act 1958 was repealed, such that the land was not in greater Melbourne. The taxpayer subsequently applied for special leave to appeal to the High Court.

Decision

On 11 September 2019, the High Court of Australia refused the taxpayer’s special leave application because there ‘was no reason to doubt the correctness of the decision of the Court of Appeal’. 

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