Families, individuals and businesses who had their properties destroyed or significantly damaged by bushfires in Victoria were given an ex-gratia relief for their 2020 land tax assessment.

Land tax has been revoked on properties that are currently providing free accommodation for people who can no longer live in their old home due to the impact of the bush fires.

The Victorian Government is also currently providing up to $55,000 in stamp duty relief for anyone who decides not to rebuild in their local community and is thinking about moving elsewhere. People will have four years to claim this relief.

There is also a 50% concession on land transfer duty that will apply to contracts of sale entered into either on or after 27 January 2020 for the purchase of industrial or commercial property in the local government areas of East Gippsland, Mansfield, Wellington, Wangaratta, Towong and Alpine.

There will be no limit on the number of times a person can claim this relief, the relief will be available until 30 June 2023. After this date, a 50% duty concession on commercial and industrial property will be available across Regional Victoria.

Stamp duty and land tax are major obstacles to individuals buying or building a home, by reducing these fees, people who have been left displaced as a result of bushfires will hopefully be able to return to living in a new house of their own sooner rather than later.

The Victorian Government is also offering a relief of up to $2100 for each vehicle on up to two motor vehicles. This includes; farm vehicles which have been destroyed as a consequence of bushfire.

For replacement vehicles valued above $50,000, the motor vehicle duty relief is capped at $2100 and the balance of the duty will be payable. The relief on motor vehicles can be claimed before 1 April 2022.The relief regarding the purchase of a replacement Victorian registered motor vehicle only applies to an individual person’s vehicle, as this relief doesn’t apply to companies. 

The 2019-20 bushfire season saw the deaths of 34 Australians. This included 9 firefighters who were working to contain the fires. Another 445 Australians died indirectly as a result of smoke inhalation.

Across Australia fires burnt through a total area of 18,636,079 hectares over the duration of the 2019-20 bushfire season. Over 9,300 buildings were destroyed, this included the destruction over 3,500 family homes. Victoria had 396 homes destroyed and had a total of 5 deaths. 

New South Wales had 2,448 homes destroyed and recorded 26 deaths during the 2019-20 bushfire season. The most out of all Australians states and territories during this bushfire season. Much like their Victorian counterparts, The New South Wales State Government has introduced similar concessions for individuals who have lost their homes during the 2019-20 bushfire season. The NSW Government will be offering up to $55,000 towards stamp duty on the replacement property. $55,000 is the approximate duty payable on a property priced at around $1.25 million in NSW. Any amount of money above $55,000 would be payable by the purchaser. Claims for stamp duty for bushfire victims in NSW must be made before 2nd March 2022.