AgForce is urging Boulia and Diamantina landholders to check new land valuations are correct for council rates and leasehold rents. AgForce rural property valuer John Moore said unimproved values determined what rates landholders paid and were also used to calculate leasehold rents. "The difficulty in using unimproved value as a basis for land rent and rates is the buyers are setting the value. This is despite primary producers facing their sixth year of drought and can't afford big increases in rent and rates.”
"While there is a 10 per cent per annum cap on leasehold rents, a rise of even that magnitude will be difficult for most primary producers to cop, and we'd urge Mayors and rural councillors to manage any rate increases through a range of measures including capping, freezing and adjusting their differential rating."
Mr Moore encouraged rural landholders who receive new valuations to check them using the Land Valuations Globe online and see how they compare to surrounding properties.
"Landholders need to check their valuations and lodge an objection if necessary so they don't end up paying more than they should," he said.
Mr Moore said the latest valuation increases highlighted the need for perpetual lessees to consider freeholding their properties before both freeholding and leasehold rents become unaffordable.
Landholders have 60 days in which to object to their new valuation, and AgForce members in affected regions can contact AgForce on 3236 3100 to book a free consultation with John Moore.