In a decision handed down on Wed 12.3.2014, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal affirmed a decision of the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue (NSW) to assess 2 taxpayers (brothers) to land tax in respect of a property for the 2008 to 2012 land tax years. The taxpayers had contended that they were entitled to the primary production land tax exemption under s 10AA of the Land Tax Management Act 1956 (NSW) on the basis that the dominant use of the property during the relevant years was the maintenance of beef cattle for the purpose of selling them or their natural increase.

The Tribunal noted the property had at least 3 uses including cattle grazing, property development (including a development application to subdivide the property into 58 residential lots), and renting the property to residential tenants. The Tribunal noted the only evidence before it was the oral evidence of the first taxpayer. Based on the evidence before it, the Tribunal held the cattle use could not be the dominant use of the property. It noted the cattle numbers were “minimal at best” (eg around some 5 to 11 cattle for most of the years in consideration). Accordingly, it affirmed the Commissioner’s decision.

(De Re & Anor v Chief Comr of State Revenue [2014] NSWCATAD 24, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Block SM, 12 March 2014.)

[LTN 48, 12/3/14]