After being inundated with rates increase queries from Joburg residents, Finance MMC Funzela Ngobeni is set to visit different walk-in centres to help ratepayers figure out their accounts.
Ngobeni said his campaign would hopefully guide residents on the implementation of the new general valuation roll that kicked in on 1 July, which is apparently what is causing confusion.
“Since the beginning of the month, the department has been inundated with queries regarding the valuation process and increases on the charges connected to their rates. This is despite the department rolling out all important information concerning the valuation roll and the objection period, including rates since January 2018,” he said.
“The City has decided not to increase rates tariffs for 2018/2019. However, this does not mean that customers will not be charged increased property rates. If the value of the property has increased due to the 2018 Valuation Roll, there will be an increase in the property rates charged due to the increased property value.”
The MMC also urged residents who objected to their increased valuations to pay an additional amount for rates every month, despite only needing to pay based on their old valuations, until the objections were finalised.
“The 2018 market value would be more than the previous 2013 market value, and when the objection is finalised the rate payable will be more than the historic rate.”
To date, more than 50 000 property valuation objections were received. These objections are expected to be finalised by February next year.
“During this period, the City will ensure no credit management processes will be initiated against objectors, provided that the accounts were not in arrears as at 30th of June [this year],” Ngobeni said.