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Port Adelaide Enfield Council Valuations

John Darley, Independent MLC (5AA 10.46-10.50) Response to caller’s disagreement with the Port Adelaide Enfield Council over the valuation of a block of land

(Byner: Let’s talk to former Valuer-General John Darley. John, we had a caller a few minutes ago ... they bought a block of land, they got a valuation on it and it’s well above, well above the value, they’ve gone to the Valuer-General’s office and then gone back to the council and the council have said first ‘it was the Valuer-General, check with them’; ‘oh no we when it comes to block of land we make those decisions ourselves’. So my question as a former Valuer-General is this: The land is either worth what one party says either the council or the Valuer-General, who’s right?) Good morning Leon. Well this is an interesting situation ... the Port Adelaide Council have their own valuer and they for some reason or another make an independent valuation of industrial, commercial properties; it now appears they’re doing it with vacant land. Now there’s a provision in the Act, Section 19 [3] that says ‘valuations have to be consistent or relative’. Now if their valuing at a higher level that’s not consistent with the Valuer-General’s valuations I would suggest that would be contestable ... I’ve heard this before and I’ve been a bit concerned about this ... so what I think I’ll do is I’ll amend the Valuation of Land Act to say that if a council wants to make their own valuations they have to do valuations of the whole council area not just pick and choose. I know how this all came about and it’s an interesting story because back in time the ... valuer who’s currently at Port Adelaide came from the Valuer-General’s office and the story goes that he spun a line to the CEO of the Port Adelaide Council many years ago and said ‘if you employ me I can increase the valuations beyond the level that the Valuer-General values at’. Now that means that those valuations are inconsistent. (Byner: All right, well I’ve referred someone to you this morning ... he rang the show. I thought that you’d be the person to talk to.) And I’ve advised my people I will speak to him personally. (Byner: Good on you ... so what is the message here to people in case they get caught in the same problem?) Well if they get caught in the same problem the best thing to do is to ring our number, 8237 9114 ... I can say that the Adelaide City Council they have their own valuers as well but they do the whole of the city ... not just bits and pieces. (Byner: John thank you, that’s John Darley. You know the reason this whole thing is even an issue is we are running a feudal system that if you have a block of land or a property and you have a particular job because I think you will agree that when you’ve got a block of land or a house and it increases in price because of things that are happening around you that doesn’t mean that your capacity to pay improves. It’s a hell of an assumption and it’s really proof that the powers of taxation, whether the Constitution says it or not with regards to income and all these things, you don’t get more money if your block of land or house is worth more because most people will want to live in that property or build on it in which case everything is relative because whatever you’ve gained if you want to go somewhere, unless you want to severely downsize, you’re no better off.)