Johannesburg — JOHANNESBURG residents who did not object to the new general valuation roll will have to wait until 2012 to do so if their properties were overvalued, and they will have to pay higher rates as the new policy takes effect on July 1.
This means residents who did not object during the open period, which closed last week, will not have an opportunity to lodge an objection when the rates tariffs are reviewed again next year.
Property value is one of the components used to calculate the value of rates payable.
Erika Naude, City of Johannesburg director of rates and taxes, said with the new policy about 24% of residential properties would see their rates increase and about 21% would decrease. "The amounts would depend on an individual property value," she said.
This increase comes when people are already feeling the pinch of rising interests rates, food and petrol prices.
Even the 21021 property owners who objected will have to pay rates based on the new valuation until the council, led by mayor Amos Masondo, makes a decision . They will, however, be refunded with interest if the property is found to have been overvalued.
More than 780000 properties are on the new roll.
Werner Sarvari, city director of valuation services, said the main areas of objection were incorrect property values , incorrect owner information, incorrect categorisation of property, omissions, incorrect street addresses and spelling mistakes.
Sarvari said about 5000 objections were received against the roll. The 337 objections that arrived after the official closing date would be treated as queries.
He said residents could not object on the grounds that their rates would be too high. "They could have objected against the value if they believed their properties were worth less ," he said.
The new policy calculates rates based on the value of the property rather than that of the land. Owners of newly rat able residential properties will get a 75% discount in the first year, 50% in the second and 25% in the third. They will pay full rates in the fourth year.
Owners with properties worth less than R150000 will receive a 100% rebate. Indigent owners , pensioners and recipients of national social security grants qualify for a 100% rebate.