What is the Growth Area Infrastructure Contribution?
The Growth Area Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) is a tax levied by the Victorian Government, and payable by landowners, for the purpose of developing urban communities on land that is zoned for urban use and development in growth areas. At present, this includes the municipalities of: Cardinia, Casey, Hume, Melton, Mitchell, Whittlesea and Wyndham.
Which property transactions trigger the GAIC levy?
The GAIC is a one-off payment that is payable on certain events. The four events that trigger a GAIC liability on affected land are:
- Transfers of title - these are transactions resulting in a change of ownership and are subject to land transfer duty. They include contracts of sale, sub-sales and any other transfers of the title of the land;
- Subdivisions - the issue of a statement of compliance for a plan of subdivision;
- Building permits - an application for a building permit in the contribution area; and
- Significant acquisitions - these involve an acquisition in a landholder that owns affected land subject to landholder duty. A landholder is a private unit trust, private company, wholesale unit trust, a public unit trust or a listed company that has land holdings in Victoria with an unencumbered value of $1 million or more.
Can the GAIC payment be deferred or paid for on an stage-by-stage basis?
Yes, GAIC payments may be deferred or paid for on a stage-by-stage basis. Certain requirements must be met if you would like your payment deferred as well as an application to be lodged with the Victorian Planning Authority. If you would like your payments staged you must also lodge an application. Sharrock Pitman Legal can help you with your application to either defer or make your payment on a stage-by-stage basis.
Failure to pay GAIC levy
If you are subject to the GAIC government levies and have failed to make a GAIC payment at any stage, you will be liable to pay extra interest and penalties. We can assist in making an application to the State Revenue Office to have these additional charges reviewed or cancelled.
If you are liable to pay a GAIC, you can offset part or all of your liability by providing land and/or infrastructure to the State Government. This is known as work-in-kind (WIK) and must be agreed by the Government.
WIK agreements allow developers to provide land and/or capital infrastructure works in a growth area instead of making a cash payment.
Are there exemptions to paying GAIC levy?
There are multiple grounds available for seeking an exemption from paying the GAIC. These include:
- If you are suffering financial hardship because of the GAIC;
- No liability events – related to the type of property involved;
- Excluded events – related to different types of subdivisions and building works;
- Exemptions – related to certain types of transfers and significant acquisitions; and
- If you are required to divest land for a public purpose.
If you are subject to a GAIC payment and you believe you are exempt, please contact us as soon as possible for further advice and assistance. This is especially important if you have already received a notice to pay GAIC or you anticipate that a levy notice will be issued.
How Sharrock Pitman Legal can assist you?
If specific advice is sought in relation to the matters contained in this article, or for any other property related matters, please contact us on 1300 205 506 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Any legal matters should be discussed specifically with one of our lawyers.
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Shubha Rao is a Senior Associate in the Property Law team at Sharrock Pitman Legal.