In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.
The proposed regulation that municipalities should rate state property at no higher than 25percent will have the effect of distorting the balance of the rates burden.
Some municipalities have a much higher percentage of state properties than others. Pietermaritzburg, for example, is the capital of KwaZulu-Natal and consequently houses most provincial head offices. Similarly, Cape Town and Pretoria have a high percentage of state properties.
Even without that distortion, it is unfair on the municipal ratepayers - residential, commercial and industrial - to exempt state departments to the tune of 75percent from the applicable municipal rates income and load it onto the other ratepayers.
Municipal rates are required to provide funding for all municipal services - municipal roads, refuse removal, water, electricity, green lungs, health services, fire services etc - state properties and those who work in them and require the services provided in those properties are as dependant on those municipal services as are the other ratepayers. The owners of those properties should pay their equitable share of rates.
When the state rents buildings from private owners they are responsible for the full rates in any case.
VA Volker, Pietermaritzburg