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Property taxation and mass appraisal valuations in Australia – adapting to a new environment

Michael J. Hefferan (University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Australia)
Terry Boyd (Central Queensland University and University of the Sunshine Coast, Twin Waters, Australia)

Property Management

ISSN: 0263-7472

Article publication date: 29 June 2010




This paper's aim is to examine how long established ad valorem taxation systems can be adapted so they remain relevant and equitable in the more complex contemporary property environment.

Design/methodology/ approach

The research methodology involves a review of national and international literature and structured interviews with key informants from the public and private sectors, particularly Queensland, Australia, but also with the Valuer Generals and others of all mainland states and New Zealand.


Ad valorem taxation systems continue to provide an important and sound base for the raising of government revenue. While it is essential that the long‐standing fundamental techniques of mass appraisal be protected, a number of relatively simple modifications in policy and operational areas can enhance the effectiveness and robustness of the valuation systems.

Research limitations/implications

Despite its importance in the form of taxation in practically all countries, existing research is quite limited and largely descriptive rather than analytical. Limitations also exist because of the very significant variations in law across jurisdictions in Australia and internationally.

Practical implications

The findings can be readily applied in valuation systems particularly as regards the consideration of national markets for certain complex properties, proposals for the better sharing of information and the introduction of improved mediation processes in the case of objections. All of these can lead to more efficient and effective application.


Difficulties have been experienced in a number of jurisdictions where relatively simple valuation provisions are applied to highly complex property types. This paper provides some innovative ideas as to how, even within existing legislation, these problems can be addressed while protecting the well‐established, mass appraisal practices.



Hefferan, M.J. and Boyd, T. (2010), "Property taxation and mass appraisal valuations in Australia – adapting to a new environment", Property Management, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 149-162.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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