Ballina MP Don Page has questioned the State Government’s need to obtain details of rent, outgoings, lease terms, tenant’s parking and rent reviews for land tax purposes when land tax is simply calculated on the unimproved value of land.

“The New South Wales Government should explain why it is asking land holders and small businesses to provide detailed information about rental agreements as part of its process for determining land valuations for rating and taxing purposes, including land tax assessment,” Mr Page said.

“This additional information involves property owners, their managing agents and many small businesses spending huge amounts of time filling out forms when it’s totally irrelevant to land tax assessment.

“Land tax is levied on the unimproved value of land!
“Why does the State Government want to know all the lease details when it is of no relevance to land tax assessment whatsoever? 

“What is the State Labor Government’s agenda?”

“The legislation as it sits now requires an assessment based on the value of the land only. 

“If that land value is less than $359,000, which is the threshold for 2008, no land tax is payable.

“If it is more than $359,000, land tax is payable at 1.6% plus an additional $100.

“A survey recently revealed small business operators in New South Wales are typically spending 20 hours a week on paperwork.

“Why is the State Labor Government adding to their burden when small business operators are really struggling due to cost/price pressures?

“Several land owners or their agents have contacted me about the amount of detailed information they have been told to provide to the State Government.

“They are also concerned about letters referring to ‘Penalties for Refusing Information’.

“Also, you would think that with New South Wales in the grip of a rental crisis, the Government would be trying to encourage investment in rental properties.

“Instead the State Government is insisting people provide unnecessary, additional information about their properties which has nothing to do with land tax.

“Is it any wonder people are investing money in real estate in Queensland where land tax is not charged until the unimproved value of the land exceeds $600,000 and they don’t require all this irrelevant paperwork?

“I call on the State Government to explain why it is asking small businesses and landholders to spend even more time filling out forms unnecessarily.”