Steep rate hike for properties in Tshwane

Tshwane residents will be paying more for municipal services, from Monday. Tariffs for electricity increase by 8 percent, solid waste by 25 percent, and water and sanitation by 10 percent each.

This rate hike is due to a decline in revenue sales in the metro according to the municipality. They also identified that the business scales are marginally too low, therefore the city has not been recovering the actual cost.

If not addressed, the municipality will not be able to maintain and upgrade existing networks, resulting in poor service delivery.

The revenue the city expects to generate from electricity sales is R8.9 billion for the 2013/14 financial year and then R9.6bn and R10.4bn for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 financial years.

Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa announced in his budget speech last month that the municipality would grant a 37 percent reduction on property rates, with the poor, the elderly and those with disabilities poised to benefit from the rebate.

The metro council has also adopted a new property rates policy aimed at addressing a number of contentious issues, including the problems of agricultural properties primarily used for farming and those that are used for other purposes, like scrapyards.

According to the municipality, owners of farm properties that are used for other purposes are also claiming agricultural rebates. The policy outlines the various exemptions, reductions and rebates to be granted to the different categories of properties and owners. These include residential and agricultural properties, schools, pensioners and indigent households.

Residential property will include smallholdings unless the owner can provide sufficient proof to the chief financial officer that sustainable farming activities are conducted on the property.

A 50 percent rebate (on remaining property tax, after the applicable residential rebates have been granted), will be granted to owners of residential rateable property, who have reached the age of 60 or over during the financial year.

This is subject to the total gross income of the applicant and their spouse not exceeding an amount equal to twice the annual government pension.

A further maximum rebate of 40 percent will be granted to owners of residential rateable property, who have reached the age of 60 or over during the financial year, subject to joint income of the applicant and their spouse not exceeding R115 000 for a financial year.

The municipality may grant a 100 percent rebate to the following classes of rateable properties: hospitals, clinics, museums and galleries, libraries, botanical gardens, crematoriums and cemeteries which are registered in the names of private persons, and which are open to public whether admission is charged or not.

(Pretoria News)

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