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The City of Johannesburg has hiked its valuations of more than 80 000 properties by an average of 75%.

This is according to Johannesburg in response to questions posed by Moneyweb and pertains to properties listed on its ninth supplementary valuation role, currently open to objection by affected residents.

Moneyweb has received reports of properties being re-valued by between 100% and 400% in certain instances.

It has also been alleged that many of the properties subjected to these “absolutely excessive” increases have been “erroneously” placed on to the supplementary role in violation of the Municipal Property Rates Act.

The increases are calculated against the valuations as assigned under the City’s 2008 general valuation role.

They come despite stipulations contained within municipal by-laws that supplementary valuations must set estimations by considering conditions prevalent in the property market at the time of the latest (2008) general valuation.

In general, a property may only be subjected to a supplementary re-evaluation where significant alterations affecting the market price of the property have taken place since the general valuation, where the property was omitted from the 2008 valuation or where it was substantially incorrectly valued in the 2008 valuation.

With the rates property owners pay to the City calculated based on these valuations, the move will see affected residents having to fork our significantly more to Johannesburg each month.

It is also apparent that Johannesburg has re-classified a number of agricultural holdings to residential, resulting increases to the tune of 300%.

The situation has a range of residents and resident’s organisations up in arms and there is now talk that the situation may be referred to the Public Protector for remedy.

As such “a logical thought process dictates that in the supplementary roll, the value of a property that had not changed in any material respect or that had not previously been substantially incorrectly valued, would have to remain at the value accorded to it in 2008,” according to a memo distributed by Elmien, Director at law firm Knowles Husain Lindsay.

She told Moneyweb that that many of the properties on the role were not suppose to be there. “The instances in which the Act provides for it [a property] to be placed on the role wouldn’t necessarily be applied to those properties [which are currently on the role].”

Johannesburg is currently in the process of gathering information for its 2013 general valuation (GV2013).

It is also applying for an extension to the 2008 role so that it would be valid for an additional year beyond its June 30 2012 deadline.

Should it fail in this application, a response to which is “expected in a few days”, the 2008 general valuation as well as all subsequent supplementary valuations, would become legally invalid creating chaos for the City’s revenue system.

According to Johannesburg, in “the process of data gathering for GV2013 some adjustments were considered necessary on the values of 2008 and these have been captured in the Supplementary Roll 9 …

“At this point in time we have no reason to doubt the credibility of the values in the supplementary valuation.”

Residents can access the roll at the Braamfontein offices of the council or online at the City’s website by clicking on the ‘Public Notice!’ block at the bottom right of the page, agreeing to the conditions on the following page and filling in the relevant details on the subsequent page.

Johannesburg’s e-services web portal which provides access to the supplementary roll currently appears to be down. Moneyweb is waiting on a response from the City to clarify the situation.

According to the City, residents have until June 29 to lodge objections to their valuation. This can be done in person or online.

However, “given some the current challenges in accessing the supplementary roll, the City is currently considering extending the period of objection,” it says.

If you are having issues with your valuation and would like to object, find all related documents below.

Download an objection form here: http://www.moneyweb.co.za/mw/action/media/downloadFile?media_fileid=15936

Then include a letter as per this template: http://www.moneyweb.co.za/mw/action/media/downloadFile?media_fileid=15947

City of Johannesburg only.

Via The South African Property Transfer Guide

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