More relief to come for Joburg homeowners when rebates increase

Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba interacts with a resident at last year's billing open day.

As property rates have gone up, Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba said the City of Johannesburg is looking at measures of relief for the ratepayer.

The proposal to increase the residential property rebate from R200 000 to R350 000 is expected to be tabled in the May council sitting.

This will mean that no residential property owner will pay rates on the first R350 000 of their property valuation.

If approved, this will likely bring consolation to owners who were calculating the massive monthly rates increase they would have had to start paying come July.

“This will reduce the percentage increase felt by our residents in rates payable when the new General Valuation (GV) comes into effect in July 2018,” the mayor said. “It is non-negotiable that we must listen to our residents and consider the strain on household income under the current economic climate.

The impact of the new GV means that residents would be hit with significant increases arising from five years of property value increases in one month.

“As a part of the public consultation process that informs the budget development, the reaction to the 2018 GV must be considered.”

This move will also provide relief to poor households which will be entirely exempt from residential property rates for properties valued at less than R350 000.

“This will provide relief in conjunction with other measures tabled in the City’s draft budget which include increasing the pensioner rebate from R2 million to R2.5 million and the Extended Social Package from R400 000 to R450 000,” Mashaba said.

He added that the City must implement these measures to ensure that the City’s historical inefficiencies don’t burden residents.

Meanwhile, public input on their new valuations closed on 6 April, and looking at the public outcry after the new valuations were announced, many objections were likely submitted.

Many took to Facebook to reveal their frustrations, some saying their values went up by about R800 000, others more than doubled in value.

These increases effectively mean that ratepayers will pay more on their monthly accounts for property rates.

For example, taking into account that there are no rates levied on the first R200 000 of a property’s value, a property that has been revalued from R600 000 to R900 000 will see the original property rates bill of R230 possibly double.

ALSO READ: Pensioner rebate threshold to increase to R2,5 mil 

  AUTHOR
Chantelle Fourie

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