The Property Council today has expressed its outrage at the latest insult to the Queensland property industry, with the Queensland Government introducing draconian legislation that will change valuation practices for commercial property.
Property Council Queensland Executive Director, Steve Greenwood, said that this devious move by the Queensland Government will rob the Queensland property industry of hundreds of millions of dollars.
“This move has been solely designed to take even more revenue from the Queensland property and business owners, at a time when it has not even started to turn the corner following the fall-out of the Global Financial Crisis.
“Queenslanders need to be very concerned, and see through the political spin: these changes will come on top of the 70% increase in land tax bills that the commercial property industry has had to shoulder over the past two years alone.
“The Minister’s comment that Queensland has the lowest rate of land tax might be correct, however we have the highest Unimproved Values in the country - and consequently on a like-for-like basis Queensland property owners are paying more land tax for a commercial, retail or industrial property and this new legislation will now further exacerbate that.
“The Government has done such an appalling job managing its bureaucracy that despite the Court of Appeal for the last 6 years consistently finding that the Government was not valuing the land in accordance with its own legislation, they have persisted with erroneous valuation practices.
“Now the Government has found itself backed into a corner where they must retrospectively amend legislation so that it does not have to repay property owners money that the government has taxed and spent outside the scope of the legislation.
“Effectively the government has ‘stolen’ the funds from property owners, tenants and businesses and has now back dated new legislation to make the ‘stealing’ legal - how can businesses operate in Queensland with that kind of uncertainty?
“If this ill-conceived Valuation of land and Other Legislation Amendment Bill goes through unchanged, it will lead to massive job losses in the business and property sector.
Steve Greenwood, Executive Director - (07) 3225 3000 or 0488 721 156