Proposed changes to rates policy meeting

Interested parties and stakeholders have until 21 February to comment by faxing to 086 447 7567 or via email to [email protected], [email protected]

EMMARENTIA — It was a full house at the Region B rates policy review meeting on 2 February at Marks Park.

At around 6pm, more and more chairs had to be brought in for residents flooding in to hear what changes to expect in the City of Johannesburg’s rates policy.

The meeting, headed by Veli Hlope, the deputy director for Policy and Revenue Enhancement, was held to review the current policy and allow residents to start compiling their input before the cut-off date on 21 February. This input would be added to the document the department will hand over to the City manager.

The current valuation term was supposed to end on 30 June this year, but the City has asked for an extension to 30 June 2018.

Veli Hlope, the deputy director for Policy and Revenue Enhancement, discussed the current rates policy with residents of Region B.

“The process will thus start on 1 July this year,” Hlope said.

This process is where your residential, commercial or mixed-use property will be valued and the rates changed to match it. Considering that property is a good investment, it is likely that your property will be worth more now than it was in 2012, when the last valuations were carried out.

From January next year, the valuation roll will be available for inspection.

The City calculates rates by beginning with evaluating a property based on its market value and category (business, residential or agricultural).

Each category has a different ratio that gives a rating (currently 0.006916 for residential properties) whereby the market value is multiplied.

Ward 88 councillor, Nicholas Lorimer, introduces himself at the meeting.

The City will, however, not levy a rate on the first value up to R200 000 on the market value. For example, if your house’s market value is R500 000, the calculation, according to the City, will look as follows: R500 000 – R200 000 = R300 000; then R300 000 x 0.006916 = 1 383.2 annual property rates. This divided by 12 gives you a property rate of R115.27 monthly. Hlope said the ratio would never go up, but it could decrease.

“Businesses said that it is becoming too expensive to do business in Joburg; its ratio is the highest. So we are looking at bringing it down,” he said.

Hlope said the City had a few proposed changes they would want to make to the policy:

  • Aligning the structure of the rates policy to the Gauteng Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs requirement
  • Rewording sections of the policy to read correctly
  • Replacing outdated legislation with current legislation
  • Adding new definitions.

Some changes that would affect residents more:

  • Alignment of categories of properties and categories of ownership to remove the confusion that currently exists
  • Amending the requirements for sectional title properties to qualify for the appropriate rebates.

The meeting was one of 21 currently being rolled out citywide to give residents an opportunity to comment on the current rates so the policy could remain sustainable and the related tariffs equitable and affordable.

The last Property Rates Policy meeting will be held at the Roodepoort Civic Centre in Region C on Monday, 13 February and interested parties and stakeholders have until 21 February to comment by faxing to 086 447 7567 or via email to [email protected], [email protected]

Chantelle Fourie
Metro Reporter

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