Valuer General reports cause rate hike fears

MANY residents and landowners in Port Stephens have already received their new Valuer General (VG) reports on their properties.

With valuations made in June 2022, at the peak of the market, the increase in value is sharp.

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The Valuer General oversees the valuation system, where over 2.6 million parcels of land are valued as of 1 July each year.

“We just received our Notice of Valuation for our property in Salamander Bay,” Barry Elliott of Corlette told News Of The Area.

“It increased by exactly 100 percent from the previous valuation which in turn increased by 67 percent from its previous valuation.

“So four years ago our Council rates increased; taking into account that 67 percent increase.

“As of July this year our council rates will take into account the 100 percent increase in valuation.

“I notice neither councillor Arnott nor Anderson allowed for their revised property valuations just mailed to householders (in a previous NOTA article).

“I submitted comments to IPART arguing that all councils have in-built automatic rate increases thanks to the Valuer General.

“Over the 45 years never has our VG not increased.

“So the Council has no need to request increases in rates.

“As an 80-plus year old on the pension I will have to contemplate selling,” he said.

The Valuer General checks the accuracy and consistency of land values before they are issued.

Under the Valuation of Land Act 1916, land value is the value of your land only.

It does not include the value of your home or other structures and improvements, but does include land improvements like draining, excavating, filling, clearing and retaining walls.

Land values are used by councils for calculating and distributing rates.

Council will calculate rates based on the Valuer General’s assessment of your properties value either alone or combined with a fixed amount.

Port Stephens Councillor Giacomo Arnott told News Of The Area, “It’s important to note that Council doesn’t get any more money in rates income out of land valuations.

“We have a rate cap, which is a maximum amount of money that we can gather from rates, and each year IPART provides us with a percentage that we can increase that total cap by, and we then apply that total cap equally to all residents.”

“When land revaluations occur, all it does is shift where Council collects its rate revenue from.

“So if revaluations occur in Medowie for example, and the area as a whole increases land values by 30 percent, then proportionally, this might be more in the overall rate base and Council might reduce the amount it collects from Raymond Terrace and Nelson Bay to reflect the proportionally higher land values in Medowie.

“It’s a bit complex, but the important thing to note is that your revaluation won’t lead to an absolute increase in your payable rates, it’s all proportional to the land values in other areas.

“Keep an eye on your next rates notice – it should reflect your new land value, but the amount you’re paying shouldn’t increase in absolute terms along with the value increase – so if you have a 100 percent increase in land value, it will not lead to a 100 percent increase in rates payable.

“Council’s rates calculator can show you whether you will pay more or less as a result of your latest land valuation,” he said.

You can find the tool at


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