Cape Town - Cape Town residents living close to the CBD are furious because their property valuations jumped millions of rand leading to a dramatic increase in their rates and taxes.
Faeez Morris, whose Bo-Kaap family home shot up from R1.6million to R3.8m, said: “I am not sure how they determine this value because our property value shot up a massive amount. What is the valuation going to be in the next three years?
“In Bo Kaap we have been fighting this battle for over 10 years. We have always had an issue with how the developments would affect us.
“We didn’t know that it would affect our property valuations which are now three times higher,” said Morris, adding that the house belonged to his 68-year-old mother Moekeesa.
“The rates have increased already. We pay for water, electricity, etc around R2500. It’s quite heavy.
“I know certain pensioners can get a rebate that is really helpful,” he said.
Last month, the city’s 2018 general valuation roll was opened for public inspection. lt is a value upon which household municipal rates will be calculated until a new roll is issued. Cape Town homeowners have until April 30 to object to the valuation online, and had until March 29 to object in person at one of the 32 venues across the city.
Property owners in Woodstock and District Six were in the same boat.
Asa Salie, chairperson of the District Six Civic Association, said: “My property’s valuation increased from R850000 to R1.2m. The scariest part is that we will end up in the same boat as Bo Kaap residents where gentrification will happen.”
She said that the majority of residents were elderly and couldn’t cope with the current rates.
Woodstock Ratepayers Association chairperson Bevil Lucas said: “With gentrification, municipal rates have been going up steadily in Woodstock. This is an issue for long-term residents who do not qualify for indigent rate relief.
Stop Coct’s Sandra Dickson said: “The city property valuation was done according to a formula unknown to the public and they had many complaints from people whose valuations more than doubled.
“The cut-off this year is a property increase of 30%. If the property value increased by more than 30%, one’s rate bill will increase.”
In a survey by the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 63.2% of respondents viewed the rating system as a wealth tax while 36.8% said it was a reasonable way of raising revenue for local government.
“What surprised us most was the number of properties which respondents said were overvalued by 100% or more. One would expect variations of perhaps 20% but when the 100% figures appear then it is clear that something is very wrong,” said chamber president Geoff Jacobs.
Mayoral committee member for finance Ian Neilson said: “Property values are based on market value as at July 2, 2018, in Bo-Kaap and across the metro. It is a requirement of national legislation that properties are valued at market value. City-wide, the average increase over three years has been 34%. The R2.9bn that we are proposing aims to help our more vulnerable residents by supporting them with basic services and also providing them with rates relief...”