Durban City Manager Michael Sutcliffe has announced that residential property owners in eThekwini will pay a rates randage of 0,9 cent in the rand and that there would be an overall increase of 9,9 percent in rates across eThekwini, according to a frontpage article in a special draft rates-budget supplement of the Metro ezasegagasini newspaper.
Officials, according to the article, hope the announcement would allay fears among the public that have arisen in part because the new market-related valuations on properties have, on average, increased residential property values for the purpose of rating by 378 percent.
This week Sutcliffe, in a presentation of eThekwini’s draft budget to the council's executive committee said there was no reason to worry as plans were in place to ensure needy residents were not hard hit by the new rates.
And Sutcliffe announced that every residential property, regardless of its market value would be exempt from paying rates on the first R120 000.
Besides being exempt from paying taxes on the first R120 000 of their properties, pensions, child-headed households, disabled person and the medically boarded can apply for a further exemption of R280 000.
This means, according to the article, pensioners with properties valued at R400 000 or less would not pay any rates.
“At the time of releasing the new valuation roll, we could not release the proposed randage as the budget was still being prepared, Sutcliffe said.
Reacting to the announcement the ANC said people whose property values had been miscalculated could lodge objections with the municipality.
Ratepayers have until March 31 to object and should they still be dissatisfied with the outcome of the objection they may appeal.
The rate bandage for other classes of properties is:
* Commercial and business 1,79c/R.
* Industrial 2,3c/R.
* Vacant land 3,57c/R.
* Agricultural 0,23/R.
* Public service and infrastructure 0,23/R.