MunicipalNews

Ekurhuleni valuation roll riddled with errors – residents

In some areas, properties suddenly increased in value from R1.6-million to R3.3-m, resulting in staggering municipal bills.

Residents of Ekurhuleni who are objecting to the new price tags on their property have described their efforts to get the City’s new valuation roll corrected as a nightmare.

Frustrated residents said the valuation roll is full of errors and discrepancies, thus reflecting the incorrect value of their properties.
Others claimed that they have exhausted the formal avenues with the metro related to correcting information contained in their property valuations.

One of the displeased residents, Karin Pienaar (72), said the 2021 to 2025 Ekurhuleni property valuation roll reflected that the value of her  has increased from R1.6-million to R3 292 000.

Initially, the roll reflected the property was up from R1.6-m to R2.1-m; however, after objecting, the value of the property skyrocketed to the ‘staggering’ amount. Pienaar described the increase as a highly inflated value of the property.

The family pointed out that a local property valuation expert later advised them that the R2.1-m valuation was correct for the area.
“There is no explanation offered for this increase, nor has the objection to the property being classified as a two-family home been resolved or explained,” said Pienaar.

“Is there a formula for this calculation? Does the valuator ever do a visual inspection, particularly for those taxpayers who have taken the time to submit objections, in person, at the offices in Kempton Park?”

Pienaar said, “I have lived in the same house since June 1974. Over the last 47 years, I have assumed that the CPI, inflation rate and average selling prices in our suburb were the primary contributing factors when deducing the value of the property.
“Unfortunately, it seems to me, with the advent of technology, and the appointment of a city valuator, that this is no longer the case.

“Property classification, in other words, single-family or two-family dwellings, and the valuation of the properties are being decided by Google Earth and what appears to be a guessing game, rather than a scientific, formula-based approach.

“However, that has not stopped the municipal valuator from classifying it as such, despite repeated objections, both in the 2017 – 2021 and 2021 – 2025 valuations that we received.

“Aerial views of homes, from Google Earth are not, in my opinion, the most accurate way to do valuations of properties, and certainly not to establish whether it is a single or two-family home.

“At this stage, I will lodge the third consecutive objection and have little faith that this matter will be resolved.

“As a pensioner, I cannot fight this on my own, and I would appreciate it if Benoni City Times/ Boksburg Advertiser could assist by publishing this letter in the hope that the mayor or another influential stakeholder in our newly elected council can see it.
“I am looking forward to getting a resolution on this matter.”

The City of Ekurhuleni appointed Opti and Black Dot property consultants to prepare the general valuation roll that came into effect from July 1, 2021 and should be valid until June 30, 2025.

The process has, however, been met with a lot of objections from residents who have taken on the municipality, saying thousands of properties were incorrectly valued. For some, this means their rates and taxes have skyrocketed from July.

Late last year, when the new mayor of Ekurhuleni Tania Campbell unpacked her plans for the metro, she committed to prioritising working towards getting the property valuations relooked at.

When approached for comment, Ekurhuleni metro spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said the price tags on properties are in line with the new valuation roll that has just been implemented. However, dissatisfied residents can appeal.

Dlamini pointed out that when objecting, the valuer can either decrease or increase or not change the value of the property, based on market findings when resolving the objection.

“If the property owner requires reasons for objection outcome, they should send an email to Peet Vermeulen at Peet.Vermeulen@ekurhuleni.gov.za and copy Lereku.Leku@ekurhuleni.gov.za. The valuer will have to provide reasons within 30 days.

“But if the property owner is not satisfied and wants to appeal, they can fill the appeal form and send it to Frida Tlhako at Kempton Park Civic Centre on the fourth floor, room A401.
“The appellant should attach an objection outcome letter.

“Please note that the valuer will present evidence of his valuation during the appeal and the property owner should also provide evidence of the value he/she claims their property is worth.
“Then the independent valuation appeal board will decide on the matter and give a decision on the market value of the property,” explained Dlamini.

Also Read:  New valuation roll: Property taxes hit Ekurhuleni residents hard

Also Read: Understanding the General Valuation Roll

   

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