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The State Taxation Acts Further Amendment Bill 2019, which received Royal Assent on 19 November 2019, introduced a number of changes to State Acts administered by or relied upon by the State Revenue Office.

Land Tax Act 2005

The Land Tax Act 2005 amendments are:

Primary production land exemption for greater Melbourne urban zones

  • The Act has been amended to reinstate the original intent of the primary production exemption by requiring owners of land to:
    • carry on the business of primary production for which the land is solely or primarily used, and
    • be normally engaged in a substantially full time capacity in that business, rather than merely any business ‘of the type carried out on the land’.
  • Various technical changes to the land ownership requirements to modernise the language of the exemption and better balance the treatment of different types of owners.

Vacant residential land tax

  • Vacant residential land tax is extended to residential properties in inner and middle Melbourne that have been uninhabitable for two years or more.  This gives owners of uninhabitable properties two years to make the residence on the land habitable before the tax begins to apply. This amendment ensures that properties cannot remain outside the vacant residential land tax net indefinitely and brings these lands in line with the land tax treatment of residences under construction or renovation.
  • Exemptions for holiday homes and city units used for work purposes now expressly excludes beneficiaries and unitholders who are deemed holders of land held on trust, as well as implied or constructive trust beneficiaries. Vested beneficiaries continue to have access to these exemptions. This ensures consistent outcomes for different lands held on trust.

Principal place of residence

  • Targeted technical changes to the principal place of residence exemption clarify that an owner for these exemptions excludes a beneficiary of an implied or constructive trust. This is designed to restore the original policy of applying the exemption by reference to the legal owner of the land and not the beneficial owner.

Duties Act 2000

The Duties Act 2000 amendments are:

  • The legislative basis for charging duty on an insured person obtaining general insurance from an overseas insurer has been confirmed.  The provision is taken to have come into operation on 1 July 2014 and is consistent with current administrative practice.
  • The primary production requirement for the young farmer duty concession/exemption is now aligned with changes to the land tax exemption for primary production land in greater Melbourne urban zones.

Gambling Regulation Act 2003

The ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund provides support to the veteran community by providing funding for a range of welfare related activities. The Gambling Regulation Act 2003 now establishes a legislative basis for a contribution of a proportion of wagering and betting tax revenue to this fund before the end of each financial year.

One thirtieth of all wagering and betting tax paid or payable for the month of April, representing the notional tax revenue collected on ANZAC Day, will be paid to the fund.

In order to align with the accruals basis (paid or payable) being used by the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund payment, the Victorian industry support payment changes from cash (paid) to accruals basis. This applies from 1 January 2020.

Valuation of Land Act 1960

The Valuation of Land Act 1960 was amended to set a 30 September deadline (each calendar year) by which municipal councils must issue valuation notices to ratepayers following the general valuation.

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