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. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency
The article “Cape residents residing close to CBD furious over dramatic increase in rates” (Cape Argus, April 4) refers.

It is important to emphasise that an increase in property value does not equate to a similar increase in the rates payable.

Although residential properties across the metro have increased on average by 34% over the past three years, the proposed rate in the rand used to calculate property rates will be reduced by more than 22% and the first R300 000 of a property’s value is deducted (increased from R200 000).

Some 42% of residential properties will pay lower rates as a result of the general valuation.

The city is required by national law to value properties according to their market value, and we have no option in this regard.

The city’s processes were audited by a qualified external auditor to ensure compliance. Valuations were done objectively, according to market values on the date of valuation, namely July 2, 2018.

The city is sensitive to the impact of increasing property values on residents who have lived in areas such as the Bo-Kaap and Woodstock for many generations, and will continue to engage with them on ways to protect their communities and way of life.

The city also provides rates and tariff relief of up to 100% to struggling individuals, pensioners and people with disabilities. Residents are encouraged to apply to the city to see if they qualify for assistance. We are proposing relief of more than R2.9billion to qualifying residents and organisations in the 2019/20 draft budget.

The city has made every effort to ensure that rates and tariffs are as affordable as possible, while still ensuring that there is sufficient funding for essential services and responsibility for paying is fairly distributed.

The city does not raise more money than is required to provide services such as roads, street lights, traffic lights, bus services, fire services, clinics, traffic services, libraries, cleansing and parks. No profit is made on municipal rates.

* Ian Neilson, Deputy Mayor of Cape Town.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media

Cape Argus