Source: Hon R Brokenshire Family First
Family First MLC Robert Brokenshire says South Australian’s could be paying more rates and land taxes than necessary according to records obtained under Freedom of Information. Mr Brokenshire said FOI documents obtained by Family First showed the South Australian Government over-valued at least 1000 properties last year leaving owners to pick up the bill.
“With the state Government mismanaging the budget they are relying on increasing property taxes such as the Emergency Services Levy to prop them up,” Mr Brokenshire said.
“The more over-inflated the property assessment, the more you pay because property values are directly linked to charges for council rates, sewerage, emergency services, the natural resources levy and the many other taxes put on land owners in South Australia.”
Mr Brokenshire said he urged anyone who thought their property was incorrectly valued to lodge an objection with the Valuer-General’s office.
“Last year 1900 people, comprised of residential home owners, farmers, business owners and sporting clubs, objected to the valuation of their property. More than half of these (51.4%) were successful in their appeal and as a result the value of their properties reduced by between 52 and 89 percent,” he said.
“Property owners need to make sure they are not left paying more than their fair share through over-inflated property valuations. Most of the time an appeal will get the right outcome and will result in savings for the property owner.
“The Valuer-General is under resourced for the task of correctly valuing properties which is evidenced from Freedom of Information documents showing they are not inspecting properties, are missing important information such as changes to zoning and land use and there was at least one case last year of a residential property in Adelaide doubling in value because of a clerical error.”
• Mr Brokenshire said the number of people submitting objections to the State Valuation Office was growing yearly but there were still many who were unaware of their rights and as such were missing out on money in their pockets.
Family First Freedom of Information request showed during 2013:
• There were 1915 objections to site value and capital value received by the State Valuation Office
• Of these 994 or 51.9% were successful in their appeal.
• In 2012 appeals saw 60% of objections upheld and 43% in 2011.
• The average time it took to process these objections was 28.5 calendar days.
• Some examples of appeal outcomes:
• The biggest drop in valuation was a house in the mid north which was revalued down from a capital value of $41,000 to $7,500 (-82%) after appeal. Reason: house in disrepair adding no value to the property.
• Residential property in east metro area with capital value at $1.4 M was revalued at $560,000 (-61% change). Reason: Administrative error – seems building additions were not undertaken as assumed.
• A recreational stadium in the west metro area was given a capital value of $5million but revised on appeal to $2million (-61%). Reason: Discovered to be within a restrictive zoning classification.
• Camping Ground in Salisbury original capital value $1.9M but revalued at $920,000 (-53%). Reason: Increase in value had been applied to incorrect portion of the land.
• Good news for some farmers – eg. A former citrus property in the Riverland dropped from $205,000 capital value to $90,000 (-56%) on appeal. Reason: It was deemed the poor market for citrus had limited the property to rural living.
• Primary production property in lower Flinders had its site valued reduced from $127,000 to $50,000 (-61%). Reason: poor access, steep block, limited potential for use.
• Vacant land at Victor Harbor had its site and capital value reduced from $220,000 to $80,000 (-64%) on appeal. Reason: Had been declared an open space reserve.
• Two blocks of vacant land at Mount Barker reduced in site and capital value from $45,000 to $12,000 (-73%). Reason: Remote property with access via a creek crossing with implications of building approval discovered.
• Primary production land in Mount Gambier had site value reduced on appeal from $134,000 to $63,000 and $137,000 to $65,000 (-53% both).