There are three opportunities when you can make an objection to your annual rental value:
- The Draft Valuation List (six months following deposit of the draft valuation list)
- A proposal to amend the Draft Valuation List (the latter date of the six month draft list objection period or 28 days after the date of the proposal)
- A proposal to amend the confirmed Valuation List (28 days after the date of the proposal)
Filing an objection
Objections to the current 2015 Draft Valuation List are due in writing by 30 June 2016.
The objection process follows a straightforward timeline. As a general summary, the process will work as follows:
- Within one week of receiving your objection, the Land Valuation Department will send a letter acknowledging the objection and outlining the Objection-Process.pdf. The objection will also be forwarded to the Land Valuation Appeal Tribunal, should a hearing be necessary at a later date.
- Within four weeks of receiving your objection, a staff member from the Land Valuation Department will contact you to arrange a meeting. Staff members usually also arrange a site visit to inspect your property with you.
- Following that meeting, there may be subsequent discussions in order to seek resolution of the objection. The Land Valuation Department will then send you a formal response to your objection and should there be a breakdown in communication or no possibility of resolution, the objection will be referred to the tribunal for a hearing. The tribunal will contact you regarding the next steps in the objection process.
Should the objection be heard by the Tribunal, you must pay an objection fee of $600 (per objection). There is no fee for making an objection—only for a hearing before the tribunal.
The format of a Land Valuation Appeal Tribunal hearing can vary from chairperson to chairperson. However, the hearing is usually conducted in a relatively informal manner. You don’t have to be represented by an agent or lawyer. All submissions must be in writing and submitted within the prescribed timeframes, although there is also no prescribed format for written submissions. In the event that you can’t attend in person, the Tribunal will consider your written submission.
The actual tribunal hearing will unfold as follows:
- You will be invited to present your case first. The Department of Land Valuation and tribunal members will be allowed to ask questions.
- The Department of Land Valuation will then make its presentation, which is also followed by cross-examination questions from you and the tribunal members.
- Within three weeks of the hearing, the chairperson will issue a written decision, unless otherwise expressly stated.
Evidence the tribunal can hear when determining an objection
In determining an objection to a draft valuation list, the tribunal shall have regard to market rental evidence, subject to section 7(2A), as well as annual rental value evidence in the Draft Valuation List and shall determine what weight, if any, to give to such evidence.
The tribunal must have regard to both and decide in an individual case the weight to be attached to each.
However, in determining an objection to a proposal to amend a Valuation List (once the Draft Valuation List is confirmed), the Tribunal shall only carry out a comparison exercise of the ARVs in the Valuation List, with the object of ensuring that the annual rental value in the Valuation List are fair one with another. The Tribunal shall not have regard to market rental evidence.
Appeal to the Supreme Court
In the event that your objection isn’t upheld, you can still appeal to the Supreme Court (Land Valuation and Tax Act 1967.pdf) within 21 days after the tribunal has delivered its decision.
No appeal to the Supreme Court under this section shall lie except upon a ground of appeal involving a question of law alone or upon a ground involving a question of mixed law and fact.