Deductions for site improvements
If you own non-rural land you may be eligible for a deduction from your site valuation for the added value of site improvements undertaken to prepare the land for development.
To be eligible for a deduction, you must:
- have paid for the site improvements within the previous 12 years
- have owned the property when the site improvements were paid for
- still own the property today.
You can apply for a deduction whether or not the land is developed or previously had buildings on it that have subsequently been demolished.
Improvements considered for a deduction
A site improvement is only considered if it increases the value of the land. The following are considered to be site improvements under the Land Valuation Act 2010:
- clearing vegetation on the land
- picking up and removing stones
- improving soil fertility or structure
- works to manage or remedy contamination (if the land was contaminated land as defined under the Environmental Protection Act 1994)
- restoring, rehabilitating or improving the land’s surface by filling, grading or levelling, but not by irrigation or conservation works
- reclaiming land by draining or filling, including retaining walls and other works for the reclamation
- underground drainage
- any other works done to the land that are necessary to improve or prepare it for development.
What will not be considered for a deduction?
Site improvements that do not increase the value of the land or that were made by former owners or government agencies are not considered. The following are examples of improvements that will not be considered for a deduction:
- excavation for footings or foundations for a building
- excavation for underground car parks
- landscaping or planting/removing trees
- any works undertaken that specifically relate to the construction of a structure on the land (including works to build a house, pool and fences).
Works of this nature are associated with development on the land and form part of the construction of built structures. The value of these improvements is not included in a statutory site valuation and is not eligible for a deduction.
How to apply
Remember that you must supply:
- full details of the site improvements
- details of who carried out the works
- evidence of the cost of the works and when they were paid for.
You can apply when objecting to your land valuation or at any other time. If you are lodging your application as part of an objection, it must be lodged within 60 days of the issue date on your valuation notice. The decision on the application forms part of the overall objection decision. If you disagree with the decision you can lodge an appeal with the Land Court.
If you apply for a deduction for site improvements outside of the objection process, you will be notified of the decision when the next valuation is issued for the land. Any deduction granted will be displayed on the valuation notice. If you do not agree with the decision on your deduction, you can object to your valuation within 60 days of the day of issue of that valuation.