|Ruling number||LT 010|
|Date issued||22 April 1988|
|Issued by||RP Daley|
for Chief Commissioner of Land Tax
|Effective from||1 January 1987|
Under the Land Tax Management Act 1956, residential land or a strata lot used and occupied by the owner or one or more of several joint owners as their principal place of residence is exempt from land tax provided it meets certain criteria. The criteria includes the following conditions or restrictions:
In recent years there have been a growing number of communal developments, where groups of people have built a number of homes on a single parcel of rural land. Many of these communities carry on subsistence farming and handicraft industries as an integral part of the lifestyle.
These communal or multiple occupancy developments are the principal places of residence of the people in the communities concerned, but they do not meet the criteria for exemption from land tax as their principal place of residence.
The Land Tax Management Act 1956 (the Principal Act) was therefore amended with effect from the 1987 tax year to provide an exemption for certain rural land used for multiple occupancy.
Under section 10(1)(r1) of the Land Tax Management Act 1956, land which is approved for multiple occupancy, and occupied, in accordance with an environmental planning instrument within the meaning of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, is exempt from land tax. This exemption is effective from the 1987 land tax year.
The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act defines an "environmental planning instrument" to include a State environmental planning policy, a regional environmental plan, and a local environmental plan, as well as a former planning instrument referred to in clause 2 of Schedule 3 to the Miscellaneous Acts (Planning) Repeal and Amendment Act 1979.
State Environmental Planning Policy No. 15 titled "Multiple Occupancy of Rural Land" was published in the Government Gazette on 22 January 1988 to provide a framework for allowing multiple occupancy in certain areas of New South Wales, subject to strict planning controls. The new Multiple Occupancy Policy removed existing multiple occupancy clauses from local environmental plans.
The Policy describes multiple occupancy as a type of rural development where a group of people, not necessarily related to each other, live on a single property in several dwellings. The policy also states that farming is not necessarily intended as the primary source of income, but that the people involved usually have the desire to:
The Multiple Occupancy Policy applies to many local government areas in the coastal and tablelands parts of New South Wales, but it excludes the Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong areas and the ACT and Kosciusko sub-regions. The municipalities and shires where it applies are listed in Schedule 1 to the Policy.
In order to qualify for exemption from land tax, a multiple occupancy property must be approved by the relevant local council, and it must continue to comply with the strict planning controls specified in the Multiple Occupancy Policy. The more important of these controls are:
If a property ceases to comply with the conditions laid down in the Multiple Occupancy Policy, it will cease to be exempt from land tax for the next tax year.
Some existing multiple occupancy-style developments have been created without development consent. Such developments will not qualify for an exemption from land tax unless they comply with the conditions laid down in the Policy, and local council approval to the development is obtained. The Department of Environment and Planning is available to advise people in this situation to help them comply with planning provisions.