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Business relieved after property revaluation put on ice

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South Australian businesses have reacted with relief after the Valuer-General decided to delay a property revaluation that property-owners feared would lead to a spike in land tax, council rates and other charges.

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Business SA said the Valuer-General’s decision to delay the Revaluation Initiative’s impact until the 2021/22 financial year would provide certainty until economic conditions had stabilised.

The revaluation was cited as a looming threat to the economy during last year’s land tax debate, when critics warned the impost from the Government’s aggregation reforms would be a “double whammy” when property values were heavily increased at the same time.

But the Valuer-General’s Office said in a statement this week that these were “unprecedented” times, given the heavy impact of the bushfire crisis on property values, followed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The general valuation process is continuing, but the Valuer-General said any changes in property values this year would be “modest in nature and are reflective of the circumstances in place as at 1 January 2020″.

“The uncertainty from COVID-19 was only going to put further pressure on property owners and tenants if updated valuations from the Revaluation Initiative were imposed,” said Business SA’s director of policy and advocacy Andrew McKenna.

“While the annual revaluation will continue as per normal, the moratorium means updated property values from the latest cycle of the Revaluation Initiative will not be implemented in the 2020/21 financial year.

“This will be welcome relief for many property owners concerned about how the Revaluation Initiative might impact upon their statutory property values next financial year.”

The SA executive director of the Property Council, Daniel Gannon, said the delay would allow property owners to recover from COVID-19 and the bushfires.

“The Property Council has long been a vocal critic of the [Revaluation Initiative] and recently raised this issue with Premier Steven Marshall, seeking its deferral until economic circumstances permit,” he said.

“Given site and capital values are both impacted as part of the project, it acts as a trigger for higher council rates, land tax bills and other levies, which makes living and doing business much harder at the moment.

“This decision is both compassionate and sensible and we applaud the State Government and the Valuer-General in agreeing to defer the initiative.” 

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