Durban rates – Policy

A full sitting of the city council on Monday approved a new policy that will allow the municipality to levy rates based on the market value of properties from July, according to a front page article in today’ edition of Metro ezasegagasini.

The edition is a special eThekwini Rates Policy Supplement.

The new policy is in line with the Municipal Property Rates Act, which requires municipalities to determine rates on properties based on their market value.

The eThekwini municipality carried out valuations in a 2006 and 2007 for this purpose and a certified roll of all properties within the municipal area was handed to City Manager Michael Sutcliffe in January.

“We had to make provision for fair and equitable property valuation methods,” said Sutcliffe. He said the municipality had appointed a contractor, eValuations to update the date of all properties in eThekwini.

The policy replaced an older system, which involved the market value of land and the depreciated building cost in determining rates payable on properties.

In a presentation to a full council seating this week, Sutcliffe said the newly passed policy treated everyone liable for rates equitably.

“The policy takes into account the effect of rates on the poor and includes appropriate measures to ease the rates burden on them.”

Under the new policy, properties and property owners have been put into different categories.

“All properties in the city have been put into 10 different categories and each (property) group had the potential of having its own rate randage, said Sutcliffe.

The city manager gave the reassurance that the poor, pensioners, child-headed households, medically boarded people, land reform beneficiaries, public benefit organisations and sporting bodies would be granted relief as defined in the policy. It was also pointed out to councillors that while the rateable value of properties in eThekwini had risen by 341 percent from R104 billion to R355 billion, “this did not mean that reates would also go up by the same margins.”

“The decision on by how much rates will increase will only be taken by the council later this year,” he said.

The city’s new valuation roll consists of 525 175 rateable properties and all property owners would be posted letters notifying them of the changes in their property values. “Provision has been made for those people who might have objections and appeals over the valuations of their properties to do so,” said Sutcliffe.
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