Municipal increases: fair, or daylight robbery?
OUTA has received numerous complaints about increased municipal rates or property taxes from all over the country. We understand that people are angry, especially since the increase normally does not come with increased service delivery. In fact, often the very municipality that wants more money, is the epitome of poor service delivery and failed infrastructure. But what can be done?
Read here how we are trying to help in Ekurhuleni:
On 24 February 2021, the City of Ekurhuleni made its general valuation roll for the 2021 - 2024 cycle public. Property owners were permitted to inspect the valuation roll and object to any discrepancies by 18 June 2021. Since the publication of the valuation roll, many Ekurhuleni residents were aggrieved by the increases in the value of their properties – which of course will impact the amount of property rates payable.
OUTA has observed a variety of increases in value, ranging from 100% to 800%. The Bedfordview Residents Action Group (RAG) approached us for guidance and cooperation on the matter. RAG confirmed that the valuation roll is flawed in many respects, as they too have identified numerous errors both with the values as well as the procedure that was followed. As a result, OUTA and RAG are now working together to find a solution to resolve the erroneous valuation roll on behalf of Ekurhuleni residents.
Due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of residents were unable to formally lodge their objections at the various municipal offices across Ekurhuleni. Unfortunately, no provision was made for electronic objections, leaving a lot of residents out in the cold. To date, the city manager has refused to engage with civil society in order to find an amicable solution.
Although the deadline for objections have lapsed, OUTA remains committed to challenging the valuation roll. We will continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders and keep our supporters abreast of any significant developments.