Meat & Livestock News

Tax Exemption for Vacant Farmhouses in Regional Victoria ConfirmedClarification from the Victorian Government

Image of Farm with red siding on barn and green and white Italian colors as green ivy clings to side

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has received clarification from the Victorian Government regarding the application of the Vacant Residential Land Tax to farm properties in regional areas.

Treasurer Tim Pallas recently announced the extension of the vacancy tax to include regional Victoria, prompting the VFF to express concerns about the potential negative impact on houses intended for farm workers.

Government’s Response to VFF’s Concerns

VFF President Emma Germano stated that the Treasurer had directly responded to her letter, which sought clarity on the government’s stance.

“I am pleased the Treasurer has clarified that the extension of the vacant residential land tax will not apply to houses on primary production land,” said Ms Germano. She emphasised the importance of the government understanding that conditions in regional areas often differ significantly from those in Melbourne.

Implications for Farmhouses and Worker Accommodation

Ms Germano pointed out that applying the tax to vacant farmhouses would be unjust, as these residences are often used for seasonal workers or may be vacant due to workforce shortages.

While the tax will not be applied to houses on primary production land, it could still affect other properties used by farm businesses for worker accommodation. “We remain concerned that there may be situations where houses used for farm workers are not located on farmland and could therefore be subject to this new tax,” she added.

VFF’s Ongoing Monitoring and Collaboration

The VFF remains cautious about the potential consequences and execution of this policy. “It’s crucial that we don’t have hastily made policies that unfairly treat farmers and lead to unintended outcomes,” Ms Germano noted.

The federation plans to closely monitor the tax’s implementation across regional communities and hopes for ongoing collaboration with the government. The aim is to ensure a balanced approach that supports the agricultural sector while also addressing broader housing and workforce issues.

In summary, the Victorian Government has clarified that the extension of the Vacant Residential Land Tax will not apply to vacant farmhouses on primary production land in regional Victoria. However, the VFF remains vigilant about the policy’s potential impact on other types of worker accommodation.