Leura owner Justin Hale was amazed when he received his last property assessment earlier this year. The standard block had gone from $ 227,000 three years ago to $ 366,000.
And, of course, the increase was accompanied by a spike in its rates, which now exceed $ 2,400 per year.
Mr Hale is appealing against the sharp increase and recommends that other angry landowners do the same, though it may be too late.
âMy main goal is to get as many people as possible to appeal, even though the deadline has passed. I have been told that the Evaluator General makes an exception and always accepts bids. “
Mr Hale said he believed his land was overvalued by up to $ 100,000. He called the assessor general in May, as soon as he received his opinion, and was promised that an appeal book would be sent to him, but it never arrived.
When he called back, worried that the 60-day deadline was approaching, he was told it could now be done online.
âEverything you need is on the Valuations General website,â Hale said. âThere’s the objection form, information about the appraisal and objection process, and most importantly, you can view recent sale of properties in your street and immediate neighborhood so you can find examples. sales over the past three years to substantiate your objection. “
A successful appeal could save “thousands, perhaps tens of thousands in the years to come” as the rates for advice are tied to the value of the land.
Mr Hale said he found at least four blocks of land on or near his own street that sold for between $ 197,000 and $ 290,000.
âSo why has my value increased so much,â he asked.
When he appealed, he was told he would be contacted within 10 business days. It took nearly two months to receive an email from the Evaluator General, saying he would be notified of the decision within 90 days.
A spokesperson for the Valer General apologized for the delay in finalizing Mr Hale’s case.
âCurrent environmental impacts such as bushfires and COVID-19 have increased the response time requirements of VGNSW in 2020.
“An appraiser will contact the landowner to arrange an appropriate time to inspect their property and discuss their concerns.”
After that, a report will be prepared and delivered to Mr Hale in mid-October, the spokesperson said. He added that all reviews are carried out by a different person from the expert who carried out the initial assessment, and at no cost to the property owner.
A council spokesperson stressed that the increases are based on the evaluation of the general evaluator. The Council has no say in the matter and does not derive any additional income from it.