The 2019 Victorian budget contained a sleeper in the form of the amendments to the Victorian economic entitlement provisions.
As has been standard fare for the property industry over the last few years, a new financial year will bring in a number of changes to the development and sales process. It is important that developers are aware of these changes, and begin taking steps to comply with the new requirements in order to avoid any delays or other adverse implications once the amendments take effect.
As part of the Victorian State Budget, a number of stamp duty changes have been proposed, many of which have received significant media attention (including the abolition of the off the plan duty concession for investors, the abolition of stamp duty for some first home buyers, and the removal of the blanket duty exemption for transfers between spouses).
The Supreme Court of Victoria has recently handed down the first decision interpreting the ‘economic entitlement’ provisions in the Duties Act 2000 (Vic) (Duties Act). These provisions were introduced in 2012 as part of the shift from a “land rich” to a “landholder” model for assessing duty in Victoria on the acquisition of interests in certain land owning entities.
The Victorian Government has recently passed legislation that will affect a vendor’s disclosure obligations when selling property in Victoria. The changes relate to the information to be contained in the statement provided to purchasers under section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962 before they sign a contract of sale (commonly called a Section 32 Statement, or Vendor’s Statement).
The Victorian Government has announced that effective from 1 July 2015, it will change the way it collects contributions towards the provision of infrastructure from developers.
At present, developers of land may be required to pay infrastructure levies at different rates and using different methods of calculation depending on whether the land is in a development contributions plan (DCP), the use of the land, the area of land being developed, and other criteria determined by the municipality in which the land is located. It is widely believed that the existing system is onerous, expensive, lacks flexibility and accountability and delays the development approval process.