.Image: WikimediaCity of Cape Town don’t overpay on property rates: check before deadline
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), through its Community Action Network (CAN) initiative, encourages ratepayers to check that the City of Cape Town’s updated property valuations are reasonable.
According to Tim Tyrrell, project manager in the CAN initiative, the City of Cape Town has determined a new value for 885 018 properties in the metropolitan area, and will charge these property owners rates based on these valuations from 1 July 2023.
“If you are a property owner in the metro area, whether it’s your residence or business premises, you will be affected by the new general valuation roll. You have until 30 April 2023 to review the newly proposed valuation and object to it should it be unreasonable. If the City overvalues your property, it will overcharge you on rates,” says Tyrrell.
On 7 March 2023, OUTA hosted a well-subscribed webinar which explained the valuations process, how it links to the rates increases and how to oppose unreasonable valuation increases (watch here).
The City determines the values of your property on a market-related “willing seller, willing buyer” basis as of 1 July 2023. The rates are charged at a rate-in-the-rand based on the valuations.
“We have already determined that some properties in the City have been overvalued, and some community members are objecting to increases in value of anything between 30% and 117%. Many property owners have already indicated how, with the new increase, their property rates will go up by excessive amounts per month, which are significantly out of step with market-related values. If you don’t object, you accept,” says Tyrrell.
The City has indicated that property owners have 70 days to object to valuations from the day the general valuation roll for 2023 was published on 21 February. It closes on 30 April 2023.
OUTA has partnered with Lightstone, an independent provider of accurate and up-to-date property data and valuations that are used by most leading banks, estate agents, insurers and other property professionals, to provide a Property Value Buyer Report that is accepted by your municipality as supporting documentation if you want to lodge an objection. The Property Value Buyer Report, which can be purchased here for R172.50, accurately determines the value of your property based on comparable sales data, and features useful information such as the legal description, ownership history, size, and location of the property. It also lists the most recent sales and includes the local amenities in the surrounding area.
“There should be no discrepancy between your municipal property valuation and your property’s actual value. Failure to object to discrepancies between these two values not only affects your rates and taxes, but can also affect future sales values. It is up to you, the property owner, to identify and object to any discrepancies, not that of the municipality. So, be sure to ascertain both values and ensure that no issues are present,” says Hayley Ivins-Downes, Head of Digital for Lightstone.
Here is the process property owners can follow to assess whether the new valuation is fair:
1) Find your property on the valuation roll and check its new valuation by clicking here.
2) Compare the new value with the current value on your latest monthly City of Cape Town invoice.
3) If the new value has significantly increased, you can object to it to potentially get a reduced value.
4) If you think the new value is fair, you don’t need to do anything. If you would like to object, continue with the process.
5) To determine the value of your property, you can either purchase a Property Value Buyer Report from Lightstone’s website (click here) or obtain an independent property valuation.
6) Lodge an objection to your new property rates by clicking here.
OUTA’s CAN initiative aims to empower residents and businesses to better participate in the affairs of their respective municipalities.
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