Amendments to the Valuation of Land Act will finally bring sense to the way land is valued for the purpose of local government rating according to South Perth MLA John McGrath.
Mr McGrath said “The current valuation method is clearly flawed as a vacant block is allocated a substantially higher rental value than a block with a house on it.”
“I had first raised this matter with the Hon. Brendon Grylls MLA, Minister for Lands when I was alerted to a situation where one of my constituents was slapped with an almost 300% rate increase when his property was cleared and became vacant land. There was no logic in such an increase as the property was then receiving no services for the period it was under redevelopment yet was subject to this huge additional rate burden.”
In debate on the amendment in Parliament, the Minister for Lands thanked the Member for South Perth for bringing the present inequity to his attention.
Mr McGrath said “Under the existing legislation, there is little flexibility in determining the valuation of vacant residential land.”
“However, the amendment will provide the Valuer General with flexibility to prescribe varying percentage rates to different categories of land with a view to creating more equitable local government rates regardless of whether the land has a house on it.”
“Although it is unfortunate for my constituent that the legislative amendments will not apply retrospectively, it is good to see that the anomalies in the Act which have resulted in unfair rating assessments are being removed to prevent such absurd outcomes in the future.”