Queensland families, small businesses, farmers and property investors will be hit with massive land tax bills and council rates if a new law passes Parliament this week.
According to the Property Council of Australia, the Queensland Government intends to pass legislation that will lead to huge increases in the valuations on properties.
Property Council of Australia (Qld) Executive Director, Steve Greenwood, said the new laws would mean properties will still be taxed on the value of the land, but now also taxed on any improvements by the owner, including goodwill, leases and profit and risks.
“With this new law, the Queensland Government is rewriting the dictionary to change the meaning of unimproved capital value to include improvements,” Mr Greenwood said.
“We know the proposed changes will destroy property values and capital investment in Queensland. Aspects of this Valuation of Land and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2010, including the definition of ‘unimproved value’ and the appeals process, appear removed from reality.”
Mr Greenwood said the government was attempting to rush through ill-conceived legislation without those affected being informed or having a chance to have their say.
“It is a devious move by the Queensland Government that will cost Queensland property owners hundreds of millions of dollars,” Mr Greenwood said.
“It will take even more revenue from Queensland property and business owners, at a time when they have not even started to turn the corner following the fall-out of the Global Financial Crisis.
“The government is attempting to portray that only big businesses - developers and shopping centre owners – will be affected. That simply isn’t true.
“If you own an investment, commercial, rural or industrial property, big or small, it will cost you higher land taxes and council rates.
“Queenslanders need to be very concerned: these changes will come on top of the 70% increase in land tax bills that commercial property owners have had to shoulder over the past two years alone,” Mr Greenwood said.
“Queensland commercial property owners are already paying more land tax than most other States. Now this new legislation will increase these costs further.”
Mr Greenwood said if the Bill was passed unchanged, it would lead to increased land taxes and council rates.
“The flow-on effect will be to put pressure on mortgages and rents, cripple small businesses and the rural sector, increase the cost of goods and services and result in massive job losses,” he said.
Media enquiries: Steve Greenwood, Executive Director - (07) 3225 3000 or 0488 721 156