We are not trying to make a quick buck‚ says Mashaba on property rates

01 March 2018 - 15:49
By Penwell Dlamini
We are not trying to make a quick buck‚ says Mashaba on property rates.
Image: ARNOLD PRONTO We are not trying to make a quick buck‚ says Mashaba on property rates.

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba says the council is not trying to get money from residents through property rates to address its revenue crunch.

According to media reports this week‚ property valuations published by the City of Johannesburg were far higher than what ratepayers had expected.

Business Day reported on Thursday that businesses‚ residents and other property owners felt the city had inflated property valuations to boost its flagging income.

But Mashaba argued that the valuation roll was not made to help the city’s revenue.

“The current narrative seems to suggest that the City‚ through the 2018 General Valuation Roll (GV)‚ is forcing residents out of their hard-earned money and to address a revenue crunch. Nothing could be further from the truth. This process is run independently from the City‚ and cannot be influenced by the City. The implementation of the GV is a legislated process‚ taking place every 4 years‚ with prescribed steps which need to be followed. In the case of the City of Johannesburg‚ a 1-year extension was granted to implement the GV on 1 July 2018.

“Johannesburg is a city of choice for many. It is a major economic hub on the continent and offers the many who flock here the potential for a better life. The knock-on effect is the high demand for property and‚ in a space of high demand and limited supply‚ prices are likely to increase over a 5-year period‚” Mashaba said.

Property owners complained that they had not done any renovations to their assets but yet the city priced them “way over” the market price.

But Mashaba said the city took into consideration areas where values had declined‚ increased or remained stagnant due to the current state of the property market and the economy at large. This information provided the basis for the valuation‚ he added.

He said the current valuations were done at market values which were determined as at 1 July 2017. According to the city‚ the average increase for residential properties across the 879‚000 properties is 30% over the 5- year period. The movements in residential values can be allocated as follows: - 4.61% of properties decreased; - 10.44% of properties increased between 0 and 20%; - 40.71% of properties increased between 21 and 40%; - 30.65% of properties increased between 41 and 60%; - 7.99% of properties increased between 61 and 80%; - 2.23% of properties increase between 81 and 100%; and - 3.38% of properties increased by more than 100%.

Mashaba said property owners should note that the values in the previous roll were determined at property market prices as at 2 July 2012‚ therefore there was a 5-year gap between the two valuations.

He said improvements from the previous roll included: - The appointment of additional valuers to ensure that the City quality assures the GV2018; - A service provider is in the process of being appointed to quality assure the overall GV2018; - Residents have been provided with 45 days to lodge objections to their valuations‚ 15 days more than the legal requirement of 30 days; - A supplementary valuation panel has been appointed to assist with objections. - A supplementary valuation roll is compiled to update the "Main" Valuation Roll.

The aim of it is to correct errors‚ omissions‚ subdivisions‚ consolidations‚ rezoning‚ township development‚ building alterations‚ the construction of new buildings and any other exceptional reason that may change or affect the value of a property.

Supplementary valuations are performed during each financial year. - Provincial Government has also appointed an independent appeal board to process objections not agreed to by the City so as to improve transparency and oversight; and - An online platform has been created for the first time to ensure that the objection process is seamless‚ and residents do not have to deal with the inconvenience of walk-in centres.