The site value (also known as land value and 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 the land excluding capital improvements such as buildings. Local municipal councils conduct site valuations on most Victorian land every two years. The council uses these site valuations for their rates purposes. We use council site valuations to calculate land tax for two years.

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

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

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

How do 2016 site valuations affect land tax in 2017?

If you are an existing land taxpayer, you may find that your 2017 land tax assessment has increased compared to your 2016 assessment. This could be because the 2016 site value of your land has increased since the previous valuation in 2014. In some cases, this could be a significant increase because the value of your land has increased significantly.

If you have received a land tax assessment for the first time, it may be because your property's site value has 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. This is because we calculate land tax using a sliding scale of tax rate based on a property's total taxable (site) value.

If your property value has increased by a certain percentage that places you 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 your 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. If you have objected to the taxable value shown in your land tax assessment notice or site value in your council rates notice within the last 12 months, you cannot object to the same taxable value/site value again. 

Note: 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 us. Objecting to the taxable value of land in your land tax assessment will not affect the site value used in your council rates notice. You must object to the site value set out in your rates notice through the relevant council. 

Objecting to the taxable value in your 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 will acknowledge receipt in writing and explain what happens next.

If the value of the land is based on a municipal council valuation, we will forward your objection to the relevant municipal council for determination at the same time 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 will consult with the Valuer-General before making a decision on your objection. Your objection will be determined under the Taxation Administration Act 1997 (TAA) by the Commissioner.

Paying land tax while you are objecting

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 municipal council has four months from receiving your objection from us to make a decision and provide a determination. If no determination is made within that time, the municipal 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 may 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 of 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, you may request that we refer the matter to VCAT or treat the objection as an appeal to the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Note: the council or Valuer-General are still able to make a determination with respect to your objection any time after these stipulated time frames.

Determining your objection

Valuations by municipal councils

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

If the municipal council’s valuer makes a recommendation to the Valuer-General to adjust the site value of the land, 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 municipal 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 TAA.

Commissioner’s valuations

If your objection relates to a Commissioner’s valuation, you will be advised in writing of the decision by us. 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 but you are dissatisfied it, you may apply to VCAT for a review of that decision. An application must be made within 30 days of the date the notice of decision is given to you by either the relevant municipal council or Valuer-General.

You must serve a copy of your application on the relevant municipal 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 municipal council, you must apply to VCAT within nine months of the date we referred your objection to the relevant municipal 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 municipal council.

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

  • We referred your objection to the relevant municipal council, and
  • A copy of the municipal 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 may 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 must be made within 60 days after the determination was served on you.

Site valuations in your council rates notice

If you want to object to that site value, CIV or NAV shown on your rates notice, you must contact your relevant municipal 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.

Frequently asked questions

1.Why has my land tax assessment increased from last year?

Land tax is calculated on the site value of land, as a percentage of that value. If the site value increases, the amount of land tax increases. Site valuations take place every two years and 2016 was a valuation year. Generally, land in Victoria has increased in value since the previous valuation in 2014. The 2016 valuations apply to the 2017 and 2018 land tax years.

2. I have never 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 that was previously exempt may no longer be exempt or land that you own in Victoria may have increased in value and taken you over the land tax threshold which is currently $250,000.

Note: 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, you should call us on 13 21 61 so we can amend our records accordingly.

3. Do you have to pay the assessed land tax while waiting for a decision on your objection?

Yes. We have the power under the TAA 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 your objection results in a reduction of the site value for your land, will the reduced site value be applied to future land tax assessment?

If you have successfully objected to a site value shown in a land tax assessment for a particular tax year and the site value for your land is reduced, we will amend your assessment for that tax year accordingly. 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 your assessment 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 would apply to both your 2017 and 2018 land tax assessments.

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

5. You are waiting for a decision on your objection to a site value based on the current general valuation, for example, the 2014 general valuation. Should you 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 current 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 on 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 you 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 municipal 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 a municipal 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 you object to? The relevant council. The State Revenue Office.
When must you object by? Within two months of receiving your rates notice. Within two months of receiving the land tax assessment notice.
How do you object? Complete the appropriate council valuation objection form. Complete and lodge a Land Valuation Objection Form, which you can do online.
What happens next? You should check with the council as this is a matter between you and them.

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

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

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

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

If the municipal council’s valuer makes a recommendation to the Valuer-General to adjust the site value of the land, the Valuer-General will notify both you and us, in writing, of their decision.