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Friday Jul 27, 2018

Joburg property owners query valuations

MetroWatch continues to be inundated with queries about pensioners - and other residents who have objected to their new property valuations.

The City continued, however, to assure pensioners who have applied for rebates and residents who have lodged objections that there would be no credit control or cut-offs as long as their accounts for rates and services were up to date as of July 1 this year.

The city also warned that despite objections, residents still faced an increase in the amount of property rates in the rand charged due to the increased property value.

The hearing on objections and approval of the pensioner rebates would only be concluded by January/February next year.

In the meantime, residents should continue paying their old rates as well as the new tariff charges.

Those 70 years or older qualify for 100% discount but must be the owners and live on the property. Their income does not matter, but they need to fill out the correct form and take a certified copy of their Identity documents to the nearest regional revenue centre.

George Carlson said: "My property was previously valued at R2.1 million only to be revalued at R4.1m. I did object. I am 82, so what do I pay, if anything? Any attempt to resolve the matter via the city phones ends in the inevitable inability to connect."

Betty Wilson of Kyalami Hills writes: "I have just received my July statement from the city and note they've charged an extra R970 for rates.

"I am an pensioner, aged 71. I did not fill in a pensioner's objection form as I thought I would not have to pay any rates. I cannot afford to pay the extra amount."

The city's member of the mayoral committee for finance, Funzela Ngobeni, has embarked on a campaign to help residents on the implementation of the valuation roll.

"Since the beginning of the month, the department has been inundated with queries regarding the valuation process and increases on the charges connected to their rates.

"This is despite the department rolling out all-important information concerning the valuation roll and the objection period, including rates since January 2018," he said.

To date, 50 595 objections were lodged and received during the inspection and objection period. The objections will be finalised by February next year.

During this period, Ngobeni assured, the city would ensure no credit management processes were initiated against objectors, providing that the accounts were not in arrears as of June 30.

Objectors should note that they may pay on the old value until the objection was finalised, however, it is important to note that should the objection not be favourable, the customer would be liable for the full debt based on the new value as of July 1 this year.

"It is advisable for property owners or objectors to pay an additional amount for rates every month due to the fact that the 2018 market value would be more than the previous 2013 market value, when the objection is finalised, thus the rate payable will be more than the historic rate," added Ngobeni.

Ngobeni would be visiting regional customer walk-in centres in the city to conduct educational interactions with residents on how to calculate their monthly property rates.

City Watch
The Star


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