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The Land Tax Management Act 1956 was amended in 1986 to extend the definition of "owner" in section 3 to include lessees of land from the Crown. Generally, the amendment imposed a liability for land tax on persons who leased land from the Crown, effective from 1 January, 1989. However, the Act does not contain a definition of the "Crown".
The purpose of this Ruling is to clarify the application of these provisions to lessees of land from the Crown in right of the Commonwealth or a statutory body formed under Commonwealth legislation which represents or is entitled to the same immunity from taxation as the Crown in right of the Commonwealth.
As the Land Tax Management Act 1956 is a State statute and there is no specific provision indicating otherwise, it is considered that the term "Crown" is a reference to the Crown in right of the State of NSW only. It should also be noted that section 2 provides that the Act shall be read and construed subject to the Australian Constitution and so as not to exceed the power of the State.
The combined effect of Section 2 of the Land Tax Management Act 1956 and the Commonwealth Constitution is that the Act does not impose liability to land tax on land owned by the Commonwealth or by a body entitled to the same immunity from taxation. Furthermore, paragraph (b) of the definition of "owner" does not apply to lessees or licensees of such land.