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Cape Town Ratepayers Urged to Look at Total Account

 


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CITY URGES RATEPAYERS TO LOOK AT TOTAL ACCOUNT

Due to the implementation of the Municipal Property Rates Act 6 of 2004, Council could no longer recover some of the Refuse Removal and Sanitation costs based on the municipal valuation of the properties. Some of those costs had to be allocated to the rates expenditure for 2007/8 and that caused the new rates accounts to have increased higher than expected. On the other hand, the Refuse Removal charges reduced and this also reduced the amount of VAT raised on the municipal account.

The only justifiable comparison is therefore to compare the Total Municipal Account (TMA) increase or decrease to determine whether the account increased and by how much. Some of the high increases are caused by huge water consumptions and if this can be managed, those accounts will become more affordable.

If the water consumption is already low, the cause will be due to the high increase in the municipal valuation of the property. If you have objected to the valuation, but the invoice is based on the valuation to which you objected, the account adjustment will be made as from 1 July 2007. The adjustment will be based on a review of the valuation of the property, which may result in a reduction or an increase in the valuation. It is therefore important to be realistic when lodging an appeal. Should you still want to object to the valuation, you should motivate this.

Residents who cannot afford the TMA increases and who lodged objections must please visit any of City Finance’s contact centres to make arrangements to pay at least the rates based on the valuation suggested in their objections.

Council recognised the large increases in residential valuations as opposed to other types of properties and increased the residential rebate from 30% to 46%, increased the qualifying monthly household income for the Senior Citizen Rates Rebate by 66% to R5 000 and increased the indigent grant from R20 to R30 per month for all properties valued at R199 000 or less. Residential properties valued up to R300 000 qualify for a reduction in the refuse bin charges, whereas all residential properties receive 6 kl of water per month free of charge and a number of households are managing within that level. Households purchasing on average 400 kWh or less electricity per month, will receive a further 50 kWh per month free of charge.

Households with a total monthly income of R1 740 or less per month can apply for the Senior Citizen Rates Rebate as well as the R30 indigent grant irrespective of whether they meet the age and/or valuation qualifications.

Residents who cannot afford their TMA amount after benefiting from all the above assistance and who cannot reduce consumption of water and electricity any further, should think carefully before putting the property on the market. They should first determine how much they need to borrow to meet the year’s municipal charges and by how much the selling price would increase if they delay selling their properties by one year. In most cases, it would make financial sense to hold on to the property for as long as possible as that will give the owner more capital growth than the cost of holding the property. Before taking such important decisions, please seek appropriate financial guidance.

CITY PROVIDES TEMPORARY RESPITE FOR PROPERTY OWNERS ON NEW RATES TARIFFS

The City is aware that, in certain circumstances, the recent re-valuation of properties has resulted in property owners receiving rates accounts that are higher than those previously received.

It should be noted that the general valuation, which has been implemented throughout the city, was based on the market values of properties and it is an established fact that, in certain areas of the city, market values have escalated considerably more than in other areas.

In cases where the increase in rates has caused financial hardship to property owners because of their financial constraints the City will endeavour to assist them as follows:

* where an objection to the valuation has been lodged and the owner is experiencing difficulty in paying the increased rates amount prior to the objection being resolved, the City will assist by allowing the payment of a lower rates amount (depending the outcome of a financial assessment) until the objection is resolved.

* where no objection to the valuation has been lodged and the owner is experiencing difficulty in paying the increased rates amount, the City encourages such owners to visit any of City Finances’ contact centres (as shown on the list below) in order to obtain assistance by way of an informal arrangement until the end of the current financial year i.e. 30 June 2008.

Property owners who are experiencing hardship and who wish to make use of the above assistance offered by the City are encouraged to visit the contact centres and to bring with them the following documentation:

* proof of total household income i.e. pay slips of all who reside on the property as well as proof of rental income;

* if there are no pay slips, affidavits to this effect must be provided;

* copies of identity documents (certified);

* bank statements from the last three months.

These are temporary arrangements to allow property owners time to make the necessary financial adjustments resulting from the increased valuations.

Attached is a list of contact centres where arrangements can be made:

Location

Name

Phone Number

Cape Town Civic

Ernest Plaatjies

021 400 3522

Plumstead

John Powell

021 710 8000

Fezeka

Ernest Plaatjies

021 400 3522

Bellville Civic

Deon van Zyl

021 918 2203

Milnerton Pienaar Road

Freddie Carstens

021 550 2621

Brackenfell Civic

Sunelle Paxton

021 9801361

Strand

Sam Kannemeyer

021 850 4230

Khayelitsha – Stocks and Stocks Building

Shaheed Christiaans

021 360 1146

Durbanville Civic

Agnes van Eck

021 970 3085

In the case where you cannot get hold of one of the above senior staff you can phone Monica Kibido on 021 400 3695 or Jan van Rooyen on 021 900 1598.

END

ISSUED BY:
DIRECTORATE: COMMUNICATION
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
TEL: 021 400 2201

Date Posted: 2007-08-01
Posted By: CITY OF CAPE TOWN
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