Roma property owners meet at the gun club to discussion land tax issues and how to deal with it.
Roma property owners meet at the gun club to discussion land tax issues and how to deal with it. Tom Gillespie

Roma property-owners mobilise over 'exorbitant' land tax

ROMA'S property-owners are calling on the State Government to re-value the town's industrial land, which they claim has not changed since the oil and gas boom.

More than 25 business and industrial property owners met at the Roma Gun Club last week to arrange a meeting with the government and Warrego MP Ann Leahy in relation to the matter.

Land-owners have been slugged with land taxes described as 'exorbitant', because the value of the land has been based on prices set when the CSG Industry was in its construction phase.

Steve Merrick, who owns several properties in Roma's Industrial sector, said people were facing taxes worth up to five figures on land they might not even have tenants for.

"In the last couple of years since the boom, there have only been two sales of industrial land, which obviously shows there's no market to sell stuff,” he said after the meeting on Wednesday night.

"The values haven't returned from what they were valued five or six years ago.

"Those valuations were judged on the oil boom and back then we couldn't build enough sheds to satisfy the demand.

"Valuations were on those prices and we were selling sheds at $1 million, and now I reckon you'd be flat-out getting $600K for them.”

Fellow property owner Rick Clem said he was one of the lucky few to have tenants for all his properties - but this could change at any time.

"I'm lucky that I don't have any empty sheds - there are people here tonight that don't have tenants,” he said.

"I've only got to get one person to leave because they can't afford to pay the rent and then I'll be unsure (how I'll cover these taxes).”

New property owner Mark Perrin was shocked to find out his unimproved land was valued at nearly the same cost as what he paid for the whole industrial premises.

"If any economist would've come here, they never would have valued the land that high,” he said.

"They should never have been valued it high like this. We're paying exorbitant land tax. For me, the valuations are way out.”

Ms Leahy said she wanted to meet up with the property owners to help fix the situation.

"I have already met with the Valuer-General and voiced my concerns,” she said.

"I'm more than happy to meet with them and I understand totally where they're coming from and I think it's wrong.

"I strongly believe the State Government did the wrong thing by re-valuing the Western Downs last year and not Maranoa.”

If you would like to join in the fight for a re-valuation, send an email to natalie@ romawiresteel.com.


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